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Too soon for gingerbread cookies? I hear everyone who put up their Christmas tree this weekend shouting, “No!” These are for you, my cinnamon candle-burning, Nat King Cole-playing friends. I appreciate your enthusiasm.
I usually get all bah-humbug Christmas baby this time of year, since the holiday completely overshadows my December 25th birthday if I’m not careful. I’m already planning my 30th birthday celebrations (with help, thankfully!) and have resolved to embrace the holiday cheer this time around. I might even put up a Christmas tree. A tiny one, with white Christmas lights. That sounds lovely.
I’ll probably make more batches of gingerbread cookies to share with friends this year, too, now that I’ve perfected the recipe. They’re so fun to make! I made a few simple substitutions to turn classic gingerbread cookies into healthier gingerbread cookies, without sacrificing flavor.
The result is a dough that is remarkably easy to make (no mixer required) and manage (it might as well be Play-Doh!).
My substitutions include swapping coconut oil for butter, coconut sugar for brown sugar and whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose. All of those ingredients are becoming more mainstream now as their health benefits become more apparent.
is one of my favorite subtle nutrition upgrades. It possesses all of the health benefits of whole wheat flour, but it’s more finely ground, lighter in taste and produces marvelously tender whole grain goodies.
It’s a great substitute for all-purpose flour in cookies, pie crusts and in many recipes that call for baking powder and/or baking soda for leavening. (You don’t want to use whole wheat pastry flour in yeasted recipes, like pizza dough. It just won’t work.)
These cookies turned out perfectly with 100 percent whole wheat pastry flour. I don’t think anyone would be able to tell that these cookies are made with whole grain flour! They’re crisp, spiced and delicious.
You can control the level of spice and flavor intensity by carefully choosing your molasses. I tried a lighter molasses and blackstrap molasses. The light molasses produces cookies with lighter color and flavor, naturally. If you’re making these cookies for kids with sensitive palates, you might want to choose light molasses and maybe even use half of the spices specified below.
If you want dark, intense cookies with an almost dark chocolate-level of richness, use blackstrap molasses and the full amount of spices. Blackstrap molasses offers greater nutritional value as well, since both the flavors and minerals present in molasses are more concentrated. Who would have guessed that a by-product in sugar production could be so high in potassium, iron, Vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium?
You also have a few options when it comes to decorating your cookies. You could enjoy them plain, of course. They are not overtly sweet, though, and they look more festive with some decoration.
Options include sprinkling the cookie dough shapes with sparkling turbinado (raw) sugar or dusting them with additional coconut sugar before baking. You can ice them with the lemony icing offered below, which requires some powdered sugar ( with less refined sugar) and/or sprinkle them with powdered sugar, which looks like snow. You could use a , which calls for raw egg yolks and completely hardens on the cookie. Or, you could melt chocolate chips and drizzle chocolate on top. It’s up to you!
Author: Cookie and Kate Prep Time: 30 mins Cook Time: 10 mins Total Time: 40 minutes Yield: 32 cookies 1x Category: Cookie Method: By hand Cuisine: American
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Here’s a healthy version of your favorite classic gingerbread cookies! This gingerbread cookie recipe is healthier because of a few simple substitutions—I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose flour, coconut oil for butter and coconut sugar for brown sugar. See notes provided in the paragraphs above for tips and suggestions on choosing your molasses and decorations. Recipe yields around 32 cookies, depending on their size.
*Flour notes: This recipe works great with whole wheat pastry flour. You can find generally whole wheat pastry flour at well-stocked grocery stores, as well as health food stores. All-purpose flour will also work. The dough tends to be hard and crumbly when made with regular whole wheat flour so I don’t recommend it. Also, to measure your flour properly, spoon the flour into your measuring cups and level off the top with a knife.
Make it vegan/egg free: I haven’t tried, but based on other recipes, I think you could successfully substitute a flax egg in this recipe, or maybe even use 3 tablespoons applesauce instead of the egg.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our