This is something I introduced to my family a few years ago. At first my family did not know what they were; they had so many questions! Why are these cookies so small? Are these cookies for humans? Uhhh, yes. After a brief explanation, these peppernuts have been a continuous hit. I decided to modify the recipe for my brother Tyler, because he seems to feel better on a gluten-free diet.

The original recipe was given to me by a sweet lady I know named Margaret Boldt from Osler, Saskatchewan. I think her recipe is the best because she is not afraid to use the right amount of spice.

Since rice flour is perfect for cookies, doing gluten-free is easy and advantageous with this recipe ; rice flour is sweet and it makes baked goods extra crunchy.

Gluten-free Peppernuts

2 cups of rice flour (brown or white)

1 ½ cups of gluten free flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cardamom

3 tsp star anise

1 tsp ginger

¼ tsp pepper

1 cup unsalted butter

1 ¼ cups brown sugar

½ cup molasses, honey or maple syrup

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together the flours, baking soda, salt and spices.  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar, then add molasses, eggs and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Shape into two flat discs and refrigerate in containers or Ziploc bags for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350’F.

On a gluten free floured surface, roll out a disc and form a long cigar shape.  Using a sharp knife, cut these into little peppernut shapes.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.

It usually makes the most sense to freeze something you are not going to eat right away.  These cookies keep very well for a long period of time in a sealed container that is placed in a cool location likely because they are dry and there is a high amount of anti-oxidant spices in them.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal.

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