These gingerbread gluten free fudge puddles are lightly spiced miniature gingerbread cookie cups with a simple fudge filling. Sink your teeth into the best flavors of the season!
A new favorite
Fudge puddles are the sort of cookie that looks much more fussy to make than it actually is. I’m willing to put in some effort for an interesting cookie plate, and these aren’t as easy as drop cookies, but they’re still simpler than they look.
The cookie part is often made with a peanut butter flavor, but I went in a different direction. These are gingerbread gluten free fudge puddles, and they fit right in with all the gingerbread men, cakes, and houses that we already have in our recipe archive.
How to make a cookie cup
I’ve shared many recipes for cookie cups over the years, and I especially appreciate the ones made in a miniature muffin tin. Small is adorable, and it’s also less of a commitment for the eater.
Some methods are better than others, and I’ve found (through lots of failure) the easiest and most successful method. First, roll the portions of dough into a ball and place them in a greased miniature muffin tin.
Press a hole in the center of the ball of dough, pressing it up against the sides of the well. Bake for ¾ of the total baking time (here, 9 minutes) and remove the pan from the oven.
How to recreate the center hole
The holes you created will have swollen nearly shut, leaving a dimpled piece of risen cookie dough. Working quickly, press the underside of the bowl of a teaspoon into the center of each well to recreate the hole.
Instead of a teaspoon, you can use the bowl of a small ice cream scoop, if you have one. A small pestle from a mortar and pestle would also work.
Be sure to press down enough to create a significant hole, but don’t press all the way to the bottom of the muffin tin well. You could create a hole in the finished cookie cup.
Even though the hole closes up quite a bit in the first bit in the oven, creating it in the raw dough prevents the cookie cup from cracking on the edges when the hole is recreated. Baking for another few minutes afterward sets the hole properly.
The fudge filling
Since these are fudge puddles, I like to make an actual fudge filling to place inside each miniature cookie cup. I’ve included a recipe for the simplest fudge, made with only a few ingredients and without any sweetened condensed milk.
All you do is heat butter, chopped chocolate, and cream, stirring frequently until everything is melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat, add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar, and stir.
If you don’t sift the confectioners’ sugar, you will most likely see lumps in your fudge. To reduce or eliminate those lumps, you can beat the fudge filling with a hand mixer until it becomes smooth.
Be sure to pour the fudge while it’s still warm, or it will be difficult to pour. If it cools too much, try scooping it into small portions using a small ice cream scooper or melon ball.
If you’d prefer to make a similar fudge-like filling, simply make a chocolate ganache by pouring heated cream over chopped chocolate. The darker filling you see in some cups in the photos is chocolate ganache.
If you look closely, you’ll even see one or two cups with an unwrapped Hershey’s milk chocolate kiss in the center. It wasn’t my favorite filling, though, but it was fast!
Ingredients and substitutions
If you can’t have dairy, be sure any chocolate you use is dairy-free. I really like Hu Kitchen brand chocolate, which is gluten free and dairy free.
In place of the butter in the cookie cups and in the fudge filling, I recommend trying vegan butter. Miyoko’s Kitchen brand and Melt brand are my favorites.
In place of the heavy whipping cream in the fudge filling, try using canned coconut cream (full fat). Otherwise, you can try using 2 tablespoons (28 g) more vegan butter, but reduce the confectioners’ sugar by a couple tablespoons.
Since there’s only one egg in this recipe, I think you should be able to replace it with a “chia egg.” Place 1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds and 1 tablespoon lukewarm water in a small bowl, mix, and allow to gel.
If you can’t have corn, be sure that your confectioners’ sugar is made without cornstarch. Most organic confectioners’ sugar is made with tapioca starch rather than cornstarch, but read labels carefully.
There is only 1 tablespoon of molasses in these cookie cups, but it provides a ton of gingerbread-like flavor. You could try using honey in its place, but you’ll lose that flavor.
If you’re in a country like the U.K. in which molasses doesn’t seem to be very available, I understand that dark treacle has a similar flavor. Whatever you do, don’t use blackstrap molasses, which has an overpowering and rather bitter flavor.
Gingerbread Gluten Free Fudge Puddles
For the gingerbread cookie cups
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter; you must use one of my recommended blends)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
9 tablespoons (126 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (21 g) molasses
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the fudge filling (See Recipe Notes)
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (144 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
An alternative chocolate filling
The cookies in the photos that have a darker filling are ganache, which is made from just two ingredients. For this simpler filling, place 4 ounces chopped chocolate in a medium-size heat-safe bowl. Heat 2 1/2 ounces heavy whipping cream in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan just until it begins to simmer.
Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow the mixture to sit until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
First, make the cookie cups. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease well a 24-cup miniature muffin tin and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and mix to combine, breaking up any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, molasses, egg, and vanilla, and mix to combine well. The dough should come together and will be soft.
Roll the dough into balls about 3/4-inch in diameter, and place in the greased wells. Using the tip of your pointer finger, make a hole in the center, and press the cookie dough against the side of the muffin well.
Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and, working quickly, place the bowl of a teaspoon into the center of each well and press down to create a well that’s as deep as the bowl of the spoon.
Return the tin to the oven and continue to bake for another 3 minutes, or until the cookie dough seems set and doesn’t glisten (about 3 minutes more). Remove from the oven and allow the cookie cups to cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cups are nearly cool, make the fudge filling. Place the butter, chopped chocolate, cream, and salt in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan and melt over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla, and then the confectioners’ sugar, and whisk to combine. If the confectioners’ sugar has clumped at all, you can use a hand mixer to whip the fudge until smooth.
Fill the cooled cookie cups to the top immediately with the fudge filling, trying not to overfill them. Allow the filling to set at room temperature before serving.