The first time I was in charge of making gingerbread cookies for Christmas, it was a plain and utter disaster It was a dough with about 16 cups of flour. Six. Teen. And definitely not an easy gingerbread recipe.
My sister-in-law (hi, birthday girl!) and I spent about a million hours kneading. But then just imagine how much rolling, cookie cutting and wine drinking we had to do to get through that massive mountain of gingerbread cookie dough.
I’ve gotten a lot smarter about cookie baking since then.
Then I replaced the white flour.
Then the sugar.
Then I made gingerbread energy bites.
Then I made the gingerbread cookies vegan.
You can really make them either way – refined sugar free and sweetened with honey, or vegan by using a bit more molasses and a hint of maple syrup.
The handful of simple, wholesome ingredients in here make for super tasty cookies. The gingerbread spice comes through nicely and they have a very deep and full-bodied flavor.
Can you say full-bodied to cookies or is that just for wine? Well, let’s make it a thing.
You don’t have to worry about using 100% wholegrain flour, they turn out very soft and chewy despite being so healthy – if you roll them thick enough and don’t overbake them, that is. Been there, done both.
No worries if it happens to you, they will still be delicious. Just dunk them in some golden juice, ha!
Em, my three year old, loves using these stencil cookie cuttersyou can buy from Amazon*. The cookies do puff up and spread a little, but you can still see the shape and embossing nicely.
We generally avoid buying plastic where we can, but we only own a very small selection of cookie cutters in general and she kept cutting herself with the metal ones. So sigh, I made an exception.
I justify it by telling myself that I never buy food in cans and make sure I recycle everything I can. This girl needs to be able to sleep at night.
If you know of any environmentally friendly cookie cutters, please let me know. Otherwise recycle on, my friend.
A final word of gingerbread cookie warning: Do not freak out when the dough is very wet and sticky as it comes together. That’s how it’s supposed to be and that’s why the dough needs to chill.
You’ll probably need quite a bit of flour to roll it out and that’s fine, too. I never said they’re not temperamental cookies, but they’re not hard to make.
If you stick to the recipe and don’t throw my tips into the wind (you savage, you), they will be amazing. And they’re really easy enough to make with the kiddos – I bake them with my preschooler all the time and it’s a plain and utter miracle she hasn’t yet turned into a gingerbread man herself.
You just need a little patience with these until the dough is chilled enough and the flour has absorbed the liquid – definitely no wine-drinking required to survive.
Easy Gingerbread Recipe
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- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses not blackstrap - they are too bitter!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 2/3 cups wholemeal spelt flour OR whole wheat
- 1 tablespoon gingerbread spice mix
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Warm the liquids: Place the honey, molasses and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Gently heat until warm and liquified. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix the dough: In the meantime, stir together the flour, spice mix and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the cooled honey mixture and stir until well combined.
- Chill the dough: Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour in the fridge. You can leave it overnight if need be! Just make sure you remove it from the fridge about 10-15 minutes before you want to roll it out if you leave it for longer than 1 hour.
- Roll and cut the cookies: Preheat your oven to 320°F (160°C). Generously flour a work surface. Roll the dough to 1/3 inch thickness (8mm). Cut out cookies and place them on a lined baking sheet (I use silpat mats), leaving enough space between them.
- Bake the cookies: Bake for 9-10 minutes or until they're puffed up and starting to brown. They will still be soft, so allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. They keep well in an airtight box for a week.
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