We have a fun tradition of decorating gingerbread men at Christmas time. My mom started the tradition when I was young and since having my own children, I decided to keep the tradition alive as I have fond memories of decorating gingerbread men every year with friends and family.
Last year I made wheat flour gingerbread men and was a little sad that I couldn't eat any (I was newly Gluten-Free). This year, I made Gluten-Free gingerbread men, and let me tell you, they are great!
I used coconut oil for these cookies instead of Crisco (my typical shortening standby). Something about the coconut oil (the fat?) makes the dough amazingly easy to work with and the coconut oil has a very subtle flavor - so it compliments the gingerbread. I was shocked at how easy to handle the dough was. There was no crumbling and if I was running short on an area that needed more dough, I'd just drop some scraps on and roll it in - it blends that easily!
1/2 cup coconut oil (can sub regular shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses (do NOT use blackstrap, for milder flavor)
2 Tbsp applesauce
2 1/2 cups Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and applesauce. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in a separate bowl; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll the dough out on wax paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Carefully peel up the cookies and place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (you can skip the parchment paper if you don't have any - just decrease your baking time to 10-12 minutes total).
Bake for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven, until mostly firm (they will firm up as they cool). Slide the parchment paper (with cookies) to a wire cooling rack. Frost or decorate when cool.
*Coconut oil becomes very hard when chilled. If you need to refrigerate the dough, make sure to take it out at least 1 hour before you intend to us it, as it will be very hard and not pliable straight out of the fridge.
Mix all ingredients together, adding boiling water last.
Beat on high for 6-10 minutes until frosting forms peaks.