Last year I attempted my first healthy gingerbread cookies but they were nothing spectacular. This year kids were on my case about making gingerbread men cookies for Santa. Just like with healthy gingerbread loaf and healthy gingerbread fudge, gingerbread men cookies are a new concept to me. Heck, most North American staple dishes are new to me. I first have to taste the original and then come up with a clean version of it.
Before we started eating clean I never made gingerbreads because I didn’t have kids, like I say “all there”, to realize cookies for Santa have to be made. Plus they were sold in stores, why bother?!
Past Sunday I poured myself a glass of wine and off we went into a land of sprinkles, molasses and an awesome kitchen mess it took me all night to clean up. It was fun and these healthy gingerbread cookies came out extremely soft with a nice touch of molasses and ginger. Not overly sweet taking into consideration the toppings.
This year I gave in and bought my kids a jar of Christmas sprinkles. Remember, balance 80/20… As I was scratching my head the next day whether to post the recipe or not because of sprinkles, I found these dye-free sprinkles but no Christmas colours.
The next dilemma was how to make sprinkles stick without using sugary icing?! I really wanted to keep these cookies clean and still pretty. Then a light bulb went off – maple syrup!!! And then I thought of pistachios, cranberries, coconut flakes and pecans.
And gingerbread cookies came out low sugar, naturally sweetened, made with whole wheat flour and coconut oil. You could use butter or half and half, all I had on hand was coconut oil.
I also haven’t used cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg did the job for me. Cloves are expensive and I find I don’t use it often. We gave a few cookies to our friends that happened to visit and to our sweet daycare lady, and everyone loved the cookies. They mentioned how they loved the softness of gingerbread.
So, here you go! Hope you have fun making these healthy gingerbread cookies with your kids! And maybe we can help Santa lose some weight with clean eating cookies as my 8 year old suggested. He might be not getting a present under the tree.:)
Healthy Gingerbread Cookies
- 1 large egg, at room T
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted to room T
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or raw honey
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp dried ginger, ground
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour + more for working surface
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey, for brushing
- 1/8 cup pecans, finely chopped*
- 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/8 cup pistachios, finely chopped*
- 1/8 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line jelly roll sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add coconut oil through salt and whisk until well combined. Add flour, mixing first with spatula and then using your hands. Dough should be quite thick. Transfer onto lightly floured surface and if necessary add more flour so you can roll it out.
- Lightly flour the rolling pin and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using various shapes cutouts (I like to use these comfort grip cookie cutters and plastic biscuit cutters) make cookies and place on prepared baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Get toppings ready. Brush each cookie generously with maple syrup, sprinkle with a topping of choice and lay flat to dry completely.
*I like toasted nuts. To quickly toast, place nuts in a small skillet and toast on low until fragrant, stirring occasionally.
Servings Per Recipe: 20
Amount Per Serving = 1 cookie size of a gingerbread man:
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 9.3 mg
Sodium: 34.3 mg
Total Carbs: 18.0 g
Sugars: 6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 2.3 g
WW Points+: 3