Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Favourite Gingerbread Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

I don't think there's a more quintessential holiday dessert out there than the Christmas cookie. Regardless of whether your preference is crisp, crunchy biscotti, light as air meringues, buttery shortbread or spicy gingerbread, the season is rife with variation to suit every taste.

At home, our family knows one cookie and one cookie only - my mom's classic shortbreads. To call anything else on the holiday platter "our" Christmas cookie would be nothing short of sacrilege - not to mention my sister would probably boycott the whole set of festivities given that they (and chocolate chippers) are the only cookies she'll touch. That said, those outside of our immediate household enjoy a more varied spectrum of holiday flavours - especially one of my favourite teachers (and now co-workers!), who loves anything and everything ginger-related. As such, I make it a point to bake a batch of spicy ginger cookies every year for her, always varying a touch in ingredients or method but always undeniably packed with the root. This year I took a fairly basic blend of butter, sugar, molasses and spices inserted two hits of ginger (fresh and ground) for extra pop. Sturdy enough to roll out and cut, they remain tender and fragrant after baking for days thanks to the high portion of liquid sweetener. The whole grain flours add an increased rich flavour and texture too, without being "hit you over the head" nutritious tasting.

Favourite Gingerbread Cookies

This month's Creative Cookie Exchange theme is Ginger! Dried and ground, candied, fresh--if you like ginger in your cookies you have come to the right place! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Favourite Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Chow
Makes ~38
1 cup sugar
¼ cup salted butter, softened
¼ cup non hydrogenated shortening
½ cup blackstrap molasses
¼ cup honey
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup spelt flour (or more whole wheat pastry flour)
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp egg replacer powder (I used homemade)
  1. In a bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, shortening, molasses, honey, spices and salt until well combined.
  2. Beat in the flours, baking soda and egg replacer until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Divide dough in half and form into flat rounds. Wrap well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days (IMHO this is best after 1 day of “curing”).
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll half of the dough out about ¼” thick between sheets of wax paper and cut into shapes.
  6. Gather scraps into a ball and re-chill at least 15 minutes before re-rolling.
  7. Bake (one sheet at a time) for 8 to 10 minutes, until set in the middle with crisp edges.
  8. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 101.2
Total Fat: 2.7 g
Cholesterol: 3.3 mg
Sodium: 27.1 mg
Total Carbs: 18.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.3 g