These gingerbread cookies are loaded with warming spices, not too sweet and have a cute little hard candy ‘window’. With a crisp outside and soft inside these cookies will be a hit for all eaters this holiday season!
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The warming spices are what really shine in these cookies! Gingerbread should, well, taste like ginger! Adding a simple icing brings more sweetness to the cookies without it being overbearing. It’s the perfect balance of sugar and spice. The key ingredients for these cookies are:
- Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour. I haven’t tried subbing any other type of flour. If you want to use a different all purpose gluten free 1:1 flour make sure that it contains xanthum gum.
- Cornstarch. Acts as a binder to hold the dough together.
- Molasses. I use organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses. Fancy molasses can be subbed.
- Brown sugar. Gives the cookies a deeper, caramel-like flavor.
- Vegan butter. I use earth balance vegan butter. I think most vegan butters will work fine in this recipe.
- Sugar. I use white sugar for the ‘stained glass’. A darker colored sugar (like cane sugar or coconut sugar) with effect the color of the glass.
- Cream of tartar. Adding a small amount to the sugar mixture helps to prevent crystallization. Without it, the stained glass will become cloudy and sticky.
- Red food coloring. I use artificial food coloring. I’ve used natural red food coloring which comes out as a darker, less vibrant red. I’ve also tried using fresh beet juice which has the same result as natural food coloring.
How To Make The Cookies
These cookies have a few more steps then regular gingerbread, but it’s totally worth it for that cute little stained glass window!
- Start by mixing the dry ingredients.
- With a hand mixture whip the butter, sugar and molasses until smooth.
- Add the dry and mix until the dough comes together. Form it into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper and cut out cookies. Transfer them to a lined baking sheet.
- Use a small pairing knife to cut out the ‘windows’. This works best with cold dough.
- Bake for 13 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. Let them cool completely before starting on the stained glass.
I love using embossed/stamp cookie cutters. For someone like me who isn’t particularly good at decorating cookies nor do I truly enjoy it, having the lines to follow makes icing cookies a breeze! It’s like connect-the-dots for cookie decorating 🙂
How To Make The Stained Glass Window
The little red heart stained glass windows are my absolute favorite part of these cookies! When the cookies are held up to light they glow in the prettiest way. It’s actually a lot easier making candy then it may seem. With the right tools it can be made quite quickly and effortlessly. The tools needed are:
- Heavy bottom pot. Non-sticks pots should be avoided when using high heat. In addition, a stainless steel pot can let you see the color of the sugar (unlike dark non-stick pots).
- Pastry brush. As the sugar cooks it’s important to wipe the insides of the pot with a wet pastry brush every few minutes. This prevents crystallization of the sugar (white cloudy flecks that will appear in the candy after it cools).
- Candy thermometer. Although candy can be cooked by timing it, the most accurate and reliable way is with a thermometer. My favourite thermometer is Thermapen One.
Once you have all of your tools ready, make sure that your cooled cookies are on a piece of parchment paper or silpat. Here is a quick rundown of the steps:
- Mix the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a pot. Bring to a boil and do not stir it as it cooks. Every few minutes wipe down the insides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization.
- In about 15 minutes the candy will reach 280F. Add the food coloring. Let it cook for another minute or two until it reaches 300F. Take it off the heat.
- Let it sit for a few minutes until the bubbles disappear. Slowly and carefully pour the sugar into the ‘windows’. Let cool.
Why You Will Love These Gingerbread Cookies
✓ Filled with warming spices
✓ Not too sweet
✓ Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside
✓ The dough can be made ahead of time
✓ Perfect for gifting or entertaining
✓ Completely vegan and gluten free
Looking For More Cookies Recipes?
- Coconut Bird Nest Cookies
- Autumn Almond Cookies
- Matcha Christmas Tree Cookies
- Double Chocolate Tahini Cookies
- Cherry Blossom Almond Flour Cookies
- Lemon Ginger Easter Egg Cookies
Or More Holiday Recipes?
These gingerbread stained glass cookies are the perfect balance of sugar and spice. With a cute see through window that shines in the light, kids and adults are sure to fall in love with them this holiday season!
Gingerbread Stained Glass Cookies Vegan Gluten Free
- 1 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour
- 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses *see notes
Stained Glass Sugar
- 1 cup sugar *see notes
- 1/3 cup water
- scant 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 16 drops red food coloring *see notes
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons almond milk
- In a medium sized mix bowl the dry ingredients – gluten free flour, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl add the butter and brown sugar. Use a hand mixer to whip until it's soft and creamy. Add the molasses and whip again. Add half of the dry ingredients to the whipped sugar mixture and fold with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the remaining dry ingredients and fold until it comes together. The dough should be quite dry. Use your hands pack the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take the chilled dough and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper until it is at least 1/4 inch thick or slightly thicker. Thin cookies will not work for this recipe. Use your cutters to cut out the cookies and gently transfer them to the lined baking sheet. I find that an offset spatula works best to transfer the cookies. If the cookies or leftover dough start to warm up (get slightly sticky) place them back into the fridge for about 15 minutes. Roll out the leftover dough and cut out more cookies. Once all of the cookies are on the baking sheet, use a small pairing knife to cut out the 'windows'. This is easiest to do with cold dough.
- Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
Stained Glass Sugar
- The best pot for candy making is a heavy bottom stainless steel or copper pot, preferably with a spout. Non stick pots are not recommended for high heat. If your pot doesn't have a spout or lip for easy pouring please see the Note section.
- In a heavy bottom pot mix the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Fill a small bowl with cold water. Dip a pastry brush into the bowl of water and wipe down any sugar that is stuck to the sides of the pot. This is important to prevent crystallization from happening (small cloudy flecks that will appear in the sugar once its cooled).
- On high heat (not max heat, I use dial 8 on the stove) bring the sugar mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a boil do not to stir the mixture again. Every few minutes dip the pastry brush into the bowl of water and wipe down the insides of the pot. Once it comes to 280F (about 10-15 minutes) add the food coloring. Do not stir. The color will naturally mix as the sugar cooks. Once the mixture reaches 300F remove from the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes just until the bubbles disappear. Do not let it sit for too long or else it will start to thicken and pouring will be quite difficult.
- Slowly and carefully pour the sugar into the windows. Make sure not to touch the sugar as it is very hot and will burn. Any leftover sugar can be poured into candy molds, or simply put the pot into the sink and fill with hot soapy water. The sugar will dissolve.
- Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl. Start by adding 1 tablespoon of almond milk and gradually add more as needed. The icing should be thick but pourable. Put the icing in either a piping bag or ziplock bag. Pipe the icing onto the cookies. Use toothpicks to fill in any gaps and to create a smooth and even layer.
- Once the icing has set (about 20 minutes) the cookies can be stored in an airtight container. They will last for 3-4 days. Enjoy!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
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