A little bit of Sweet, a little bit of Spice: Gingerbread Recipes

 

Written by Rachel, Contributing Writer

As you well know, it’s Christmastime! Your music is playing, the stockings are hung, your tree is decorated and it’s time to get baking!

When I think about baking during this season, my first thoughts are about gingerbread houses and cookies. I love the spicy, sweet flavor. They are adorable, although they are full of white sugar and decorated with artificial flavoring and color frosting usually.

Did you know that it is possible to make these little guys while removing some of the bad ingredients?

A few things about ginger. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and has immune boosting powers. Ginger also aids in gas relief as well as motion or morning sickness and has many more healing effects to take advantage of. Eating gingerbread or gingerbread cookies will probably not give you the exact same health benefits as eating ginger raw but  it’s a lot more fun, especially this time of year!

Gingerbread  Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 C whole wheat flour (+ 1/4 C at the end*)
  • 2/3 C sucanat (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2/3 C raw honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 C butter
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

What to do:

  1. Combine dry ingredients except for sucanat in a medium bowl, mix and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, sucanat, honey and eggs.
  3. Mix wet and dry mixtures. *If the mixture is still to wet, stir in 1/4 cup of flour.
  4. Knead dough together, then divide into two and place in a glass bowl with an air tight lid or in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Once you have refrigerated the dough, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Roll dough on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.
  7. Use your favorite cookie cutters and transfer cut shapes onto a greased cookie sheet pan. (You don’t have to grease, I found that the cookies remove very easily with this particular recipe)
  8. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from heat and cool on a wire rack.
  9. Decorate them with chocolate frosting  if you would like to.
  10. Enjoy!

 Instead of the typical white or colored icing to decorate your gingerbread men, why not a chocolate icing?

Chocolate Icing for Decorating

 Ingredients:

 What to do:

  1. To make your own powdered sucanat, take 1 cup and pour in blender.
  2. Cover and blend until powder-like.
  3. Pour the powdered sucanat and cocoa into a medium bowl, add vanilla and cream.
  4. Mix well and add more liquid as needed.
  5. Spread icing onto cookies with a butter knife or spoon frosting into a plastic zip baggie or in an icing pipe bag or bottle.
  6. Decorate cookies and enjoy!

If cookies aren’t your thing, how about some bread?

Gingerbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 C sucanat
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1 1/4 C puree pumpkin or 1 can

What to do: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients except for sucanat in a medium bowl, mix and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter, sucanat. honey, pumpkin puree, and egg.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into wet a little at a time.
  5. Pour in your greased baking 9×9 pan or 9×5 loaf pan. Mixture will be very think!
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until done.
  7. Cut a slice and enjoy!
  8. For further indulgence, add some easy whipped cream cheese frosting!
* To reduce sugar, use apple sauce in place of one or both sweeteners or check out this recipe, you could just add a few teaspoons more of ginger and cinnamon.

All of these recipes are super simple and won’t take too much time to make in your already busy holiday schedule. You could add a few gingerbread cookies in a clear festive bag or make some bread in mini loaf pans for frugal gifts.

Here are some Gingerbread activities I found:

What’s your favorite gingerbread recipe? Do you plan on making any gingerbread cookies or bread this year?

About Rachel

Rachel is a mother to 3 kids and a wife to a wellness doctor. Her passions are faith, family and health. She supports her husband in helping to change the way people look at their health and uses her blog as a tool to do that, her husband also has a feature on her blog called "Ask Dr. Jake", he would be happy to answer any of your health related questions or at least direct your path to some better options. You can find her writing about her family adventures and inspiring you to make healthier choices for your family and more at day2day joys or on Facebook. Also, if you subscribe to her blog via email you will get Spring into Summer Smoothie E-book for free.

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Comments

  1. Tee hee – having come here from your post about Dr Axe’s book, I was surprised to see ‘ww flour’ …. as most of the food blogs I frequent are GF!!

    Both these recipes would be simple to ‘switch’ using a GF flour blend (I love sorghum, tapioca & potato/arrowroot/or corn starch, some coconut flour, & perhaps a nut flour – hazelnut or almond …. & coconut or palm oil …
    I use ‘flax eggs’ – 1 Tbsp fresh ground flax & 1 Tbsp liquid (coconut milk, pumpkin puree, etc) per ‘egg’ (we’re all gluten intolerant, & my grown
    daughter is allergic to egg yolks)
    For awhile I used xanthan gum in GF recipes – but you really don’t need it (& a number of folks are sensitive to those!) for quick bread/cookie recipes! A bit of carob powder is a simple way to add some ‘binding,’ & the flax helps in that regard as well!

  2. How many cookies does this make?
    Thanks.

  3. Oh man…I love me some gingerbreads. :) Whipped topping, anyone?

  4. I wish my mom would have made gingerbread cookies w/butter. She was a Crisco baker… (a wonder I’m still alive, LOL).

  5. These looks so yummy! I love how you’ve made the recipes healthier! I bet your kiddos love this at Christmas! Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

  6. Yum! Looks like fun. :-)

  7. I love that you used pepper in the cookie recipe – I will have to try that!

  8. I love all things gingerbread, especially muffins! Thanks for the fun recipes! :)

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  1. [...] for Librarians Go bowling at Snow Bowl! Go to the Christmas Party at Church Make Christmas Cookies {Gingerbread Cookies sound yummy!} Deliver cookies to friends Listen to VeggieTales Christmas CD Make Christmas Cards [...]

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