When my kids were little, their favourite Christmas tradition was eating gingerbread ‘star biscuits’ and drinking ‘pearl tea’ (hot water, almond milk and honey), while dancing around to Christmas music under the Christmas lights on the back deck. Every year they’d get so excited when we made star biscuits, and every night was a party under the lights with pearl tea and biscuits, until they were all gone!
Nowadays the kids are a bit older, and I haven’t noticed any of them dancing to Christmas carols… but they still love star biscuits, and have been asking me for weeks to make a grain free version they could have, since we’re on GAPS!
So here’s what I came up with… The recipe is based on my original gluten free gingerbread biscuit recipe, but instead of gluten free flour I’ve used almond meal and coconut flour. I’ve also changed the sweeteners to dates and honey (to suit GAPS), but feel free to play with the recipe and use whatever sweetener you like, to taste. They’re not quite as crispy as the original version, but my kids say they actually prefer the slightly-chewy version, so YAY!!
These will obviously be great for making gingerbread men too, but wouldn’t work so well for a gingerbread house, I think… unless it’s a very small house! (I could be wrong… if you try it let me know!)
This recipe is grain free and gluten free, GAPS & Paleo friendly, and has egg free and dairy free options. It makes about 4 dozen biscuits (depending on size of cutters). Dough can be frozen for later use – roll into a cylinder shape, wrap in parchment paper, and freeze; cut slices off end for round biscuits to cook as wanted.
If you’d like to make marshmallow icing to decorate, use the recipe in this post. It won’t harden like royal icing, so ice just before eating.
Happy Christmas cooking!
- 2 Tbspns chia seeds
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 3 whole cloves
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 vanilla bean, halved
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
- zest of 1 orange (preferably organic)
- 2cm fresh ginger (peeled and cut in quarters)
- 600g blanched almond meal
- 60g coconut flour
- 6 tsp ground ginger powder
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 150g dry dates (not raw)
- 230g unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 100g honey
- 1 large egg
- Place chia seeds, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorns, vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom seeds into bowl and mill 1 min/speed 9.
- Add orange zest and fresh ginger to bowl and blend 30 sec/speed 9, scraping down as needed, until everything is finely ground.
- Add almond meal, coconut flour, ginger powder, sea salt and bicarb soda and mix 20 sec/speed 6, using spatula to help combine. Place mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
- Place dates into bowl and chop 20 sec/speed 9. Scrape down sides with spatula.
- Add butter or coconut oil, honey, and egg to bowl and mix 15 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides.
- Place reserved dry mixture back into bowl, and mix 30 sec/speed 5, using spatula to assist mixing. Give a good stir with spatula to loosen mixture, and mix again 30 sec/speed 5, or until mixture is well combined. (If using a TM31, bowl will be too full, so mix dry and wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, by hand.)
- Divide dough into four balls, wrap each one in a piece of baking paper and flatten to a disc shape. Place in fridge to chill for a few hours, or up to three days - this makes the flavours stronger, and the dough easier to handle.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 160C.
- Roll out one disk of dough at a time, on a silicon mat or piece of baking paper, with another piece of baking paper on top of the dough so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin. Roll to about 5mm thick.
- Cut out biscuits with cookie cutters and carefully transfer to trays lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake in preheated oven for approx. 12-15 mins, turning trays around halfway through cooking time. Keep a close eye on the biscuits that they don’t burn, but at the same time, don't remove from oven when they're too soft - they should be browned on the edges and slightly golden.
- Cool on trays so that biscuits are crisp.
- For an egg-free option, omit the egg, and add another Tbspn chia seeds at the start (3 Tbspns), then when the recipe says to add egg, add 3 Tbspns water instead.
- Store cooled biscuits in the freezer in containers. If kept at room temp they will soften.
- To make them a bit more special, dip half of each biscuit in melted (homemade) chocolate, place on paper lined trays, and freeze to set. (You can use my Raw Chocolate recipe for this, but let it cool and thicken before dipping biscuits. Will work best if biscuits are frozen first.)
- If you'd like to ice them, you could make a marshmallow frosting to ice just before serving. Marshmallow frosting won't harden like royal icing. (If you're not on GAPS and can have xylitol, make a royal icing with xylitol.)