If you’re like me, you haven’t finished your Christmas baking yet! It’s not too late to make some delicious and healthful gingerbread men with your kids or grandkids. Below is my own recipe, which I adapted from one in Real Simple.
Organic, unsulphured, blackstrap molasses is the healthiest molasses, which is why I use it in this recipe! Blackstrap is much more nutritious than light or dark molasses–it contains significant amounts of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.
Blackstrap molasses is also processed three times to remove the sucrose, which results in that dark brown color; it is the most dense sweetener in terms of minerals. Even though many sugars have been removed from the syrup, the sugars that remain are caramelized during the three rounds of heating.
Be sure to purchase unsulphured blackstrap molasses; sulfur dioxide used in food processing contributes to acid rain, and may present health risks as well.
Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies
- 5 to 5 1/2 cups of flour, preferably sprouted wheat
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons of organic ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon organic ground cloves
- 1 cup unsalted organic butter (or coconut oil)
- 1 cup of maple sugar (or coconut sugar or palm sugar)
- 1 large organic egg
- 1 cup organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
- Combine the flour, baking soda, sea salt, and spices in a large bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, maple sugar, and egg on medium until smooth. Add molasses and beat until mixed, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture 1 cup at a time, blending until smooth.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half, flatten into disks, and wrap in beeswax wrap (or plastic). Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll each disk to 1/8 inch thick. Have your kids use gingerbread cookie cutters to make shapes.
- Transfer cookies to a unbleached parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
- Decorate, if desired, with raisins and carob chips.
- Bake until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
The Importance of Unbleached Parchment Paper
Most parchment paper is bleached so that it looks white rather than brown. Unfortunately, bleached paper leeches dioxins, which are linked to reproductive and immune system problems, and are probable carcinogens. Always opt for unbleached parchment paper.