Friday, December 18, 2009

Dairy-free,spelt gingerbread cookies

I loooove gingerbread! A few years back, I started making Martha Stewart's recipe which calls for some ground black pepper. Wow, that pepper really made those cookies pop!

Fast forward a few years and the naturopath's advice to avoid dairy and wheat... Boohoo! Well, I knew a girl with a wheat allergy in high school, and she ate a lot of spelt products so that was one of the first grains I turned to for baked goods.

Through an internet search, I came across this blog, which had a great-sounding recipe. I accidentally added the sugar to the dry mix rather than the melted butter/molasses, which resulted in some sugar crystals in the cookies but hey, that's not the end of the world.

Compared to regular GBC (gingerbread cookies) made with wheat flour, these ones came out lighter and a bit puffier. I guess with baked goods, spelt will never yield the same results as flour. I'm not sure if you could poke a hole in the top of these and hang them on your tree, but they are excellent to nibble on while decorating your tree!

Puffy man and snowman

I modified the amount of spices, and ended up adding about 3 tbsp of spelt flour to the dough because it was quite soft.

Spelt Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Rackle's Ramblings
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies


2 cups unbleached organic whole grain spelt flour, sifted (plus more for rolling)
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped (minced) crystallized ginger (optional) I omitted this
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tbsp ground ginger (I used 2 tsp)
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)
1 tsp ground cardamon (omitted)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground coriander (omitted)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 cup unsalted organic butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/3 cup Sucanat (organic fair-trade evaporated cane juice) (I used yellow cane sugar)
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large organic/free range egg, beaten


In a sauce pan over very low heat, melt butter (or butter substitute) and add molasses, then sugar, stirring until dissolved. Turn off heat and let cool a few minutes, then add beaten egg.

In mixing bowl combine flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Gradually add liquid ingredients to flour mixture, stirring each time until flour is completely absorbed. When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, it should be ready to be kneaded by hand. If dough sticks to hands, add small amounts (1 tbsp at a time) of flour until dough no longer sticks and is firm but pliable and shiny. Shape into a round, wrap in plastic or cover in a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours.

Place oven racks in the middle and pre-heat oven to 350.

On a floured surface, roll out dough using floured rolling pin. I just put the same piece of cling wrap the dough was wrapped in over the dough and rolled over it with an unfloured rolling pin.
to 1/8" thickness.

Once you cut as many cookies as possible using your cookie cutters, pull away the excess dough and place dough shapes on baking trays lined with parchment (not wax) paper. Place trays on rack positioned in middle of oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

Cool on wire racks. These cookies get crunchier the more they cool so be patient!

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