healthy gingerbread cookies

Healthier Gingerbread Cookies

Click to download recipe-Healthier Gingerbread Cookies

Here’s a healthy version of your favorite classic gingerbread cookies! A few simple substitutions make it healthier:

  • whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour
  • coconut oil for butter
  • coconut sugar for brown sugar

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 40 mins

Makes: 32 cookies

Ingredients – Cookies

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for work surface
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp finely ground black pepper
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup molasses
(use regular molasses for lighter, somewhat spicy cookies or blackstrap molasses for very spicy, intensely flavored cookies)
½ cup packed coconut sugar
1 large egg
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Instructions-Cookies

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, pepper, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Whisk until blended.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and molasses and whisk until combined.
  • Add the coconut sugar and whisk until blended. (If the sugar is won’t incorporate into the mixture, warm the mixture for about 20 seconds in the microwave or over low heat on the stove, just until you can whisk it all together.)
  • Add the egg and whisk until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the dry and mix just until combined. (If it seems like you don’t have enough liquid, just keep mixing!)
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Shape each half into a round disc about 1 inch thick and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place both discs in the refrigerator and chill until cold—about 1 hour, or up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with racks in the middle and upper third of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • After the dough has rested in the fridge, lightly flour your working surface and roll out one of your discs until it’s ¼ inch thick. If the dough is very hard or crumbly, just roll it as best you can and then give it a few minutes to warm up. Repeat until you’ve successfully rolled the dough to ¼ inch thickness.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place each cookie on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about ½ inch of space around each one (this dough just barely expands during baking).
  • Combine your dough scraps into a ball and roll them out again, repeating until you have used up all the dough. Repeat with remaining disc.
  • If you’d like to decorate the cookies with granulated sugar like turbinado or extra coconut sugar, sprinkle it onto the cookies now.
  • Place baking sheets in the oven, one on the middle rack and one on the upper.
  • Bake for 8 to 11 minutes; for softer cookies, pull them out around 8 minutes and for more crisp cookies, bake for up to 11 minutes.
  • Place the baking sheets on cooling racks to cool. The cookies will further crisp as they cool.

Ingredients – Lemon Icing (optional)

½ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp lemon zest (optional, for a more intense lemon flavor)
2¼ tsp lemon juice

Instructions-Lemon Icing

  • If you’d like to ice the cookies and/or sprinkle them with powdered sugar, wait until they have completely cooled.
  • To make the icing, in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, optional lemon zest and the lemon juice.
  • Whisk until thoroughly blended.
  • Transfer the icing into a small Ziploc bag, squeeze out any excess air and seal the bag.
  • Cut off a tiny piece of one of the lower corners and squeeze icing through the hole to decorate the cookies as desired.
  • If you’d like to sift powdered sugar over the cookies, do it now. Wait until the icing has firmed up (about 1 hour) before carefully stacking the cookies in a storage container.
  • The frosting will harden eventually, but it won’t ever be as indestructible as royal icing. Cookies will keep for up to 1 week at room temperature.

The frosting will harden eventually, but it won’t ever be as indestructible as royal icing. Cookies will keep for up to 1 week at room temperature.

Adapted from: Cookie Kate