Easy, Healthy Gingerbread Cookies
If you are looking to experiment with alternative flours this holiday season, then this is the gingerbread recipe for you! Flours made from whole grains, legumes, or nuts are a great way to get more nutrients into your diet and perfect for those with food allergies and/or food sensitivities.
Some of my favourite alternative flours when it comes to baking are oat, spelt, quinoa, and buckwheat flour. All four of these flours can be used to make any baked goods you would normally make with plain wheat flour including cakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, pancakes, and more!
What To Know About Buckwheat and Spelt Flours
Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. It is actually a seed, rich in complex carbohydrates and belongs to a group of foods known as pseudocereals. Pseudocereals are plants that produce seeds and fruits that are similar to grains and used in virtually the same ways. Buckwheat is gluten-free, packed with nutrients, and high in protein and fibre. It has a distinct earthy flavour and works well when blended with lighter flours.
Spelt is an ancient grain belonging to the wheat family, although it is low in gluten and easier to digest. It is rich in vitamins and minerals including magnesium, selenium, iron, manganese, and zinc. Spelt flour has a slightly sweet and nutty flavour and works well in place of recipes that normally call for all-purpose flour.
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
This recipe combines equal parts buckwheat flour and spelt flour, and while whole grain flours tend to be a bit stronger in flavour and slightly heavier in texture, they are no match for these aromatic gingerbread cookies loaded with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves!
- 1.5 c buckwheat flour
- 1.5 c spelt flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger or ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 c unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 c cane sugar or brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 c unsulphured molasses
Icing (optional): Mix 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (or cane sugar ground into a fine powder) and 1 tsp milk until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined, scraping down sides of the bowl.
- Gradually add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until incorporated.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap (or beeswax wrap!) and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hrs or overnight.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut out cookies into desired shapes.
- Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for about 7 - 10 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the cookies, until they are firm and the edges have started to brown slightly.
- Allow the cookies to cool before decorating.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
In place of buckwheat flour or spelt flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour.
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