umbo (or not) Gluten Free Gingersnaps. Let the games begin. It’s officially time to start celebrating the Christmas season. So…let’s get on with the Christmas cookie list.
Gingersnaps have long been made in Germany and England, where molasses was used because it was less expensive than granulated sugar. The combination of spices – ginger, cinnamon and cardamom – invoke all the lovely aromas that remind you of the holiday season. This is a special cookie all by itself, but you don’t need to stop there. This cookie could be the start of a perfect crust for that beloved Pumpkin Cheesecake or use it as part of a coating on your holiday ham or you could make some poppable cake pops coated in white chocolate. But, for now, with how busy you are during the holidays, this cookie is perfect.
And, you may be wondering, do I really need the cardamom? Well, I asked the same question. Especially when I went to the grocery store to buy this aromatic, sweet and citrusey spice and saw a $9.99 price tag on a 1.75 ounce bottle. Turns out that this is the third most expensive spice in the world – right behind Vanilla and Saffron.
So, I made a batch of these cookies without the Cardamom and then, I wrestled my wallet out of my purse and broke down and bought the Cardamom and made a batch with… And, I have to admit that the Cardamom made a huge difference in the eating experience. So, to justify this huge expense, here’s a tiny bit of education that might help you ‘digest’ the cost. I didn’t have time to buy it online, but I’m sure it has to be cheaper somewhere.
Cardamom is a member of the ginger family, which explains why it is such a great complement to ginger itself. It’s native to the Middle East, North Africa and Scandinavia and there are two main types: green (Ellataria) which is what you’ll find in the grocery store and is suited for desserts and brown (Amomum) which is more appropriate for savory dishes. There’s a white, but that’s basically the green bleached. The good thing about this spice is that you get double duty – it’s aromatic – which is great for your baked goods, etc., but it also has medicinal properties. It has a host of benefits – but here are a few: relieves digestive issues, it’s an antioxidant and the best one – it fights depression. Can eating a dozen or so of these cookies, elevate my mood? I may need to give that a try.
Here’s a picture of both the jumbo size (1/4 cup) and the smaller 1 Tablespoon size. This dough will be sticky. I found that if you put the extra sugar for coating the dough balls in a 9″x 13″ pan (or something similar) that you can scoop an entire tray right into the sugar, roll them all at once and then you can avoid sticky fingers. But, if you still get all messy, just take a break, wash your hands and start over.