The festive season has well and truly arrived, and we thought we’d celebrate by getting creative in the ISHKA kitchen!
When it comes to baking at Christmas, you can’t beat good ol’ gingerbread. Not only are gingerbread cookies brimming with festive cheer and deliciousness, they make an excellent handmade gift or tasty tree decoration.
So we tracked down the best gingerbread recipe we could find that is:
- easy to make
If you love to bake and decorate, this yummy gingerbread recipe makes the perfect healthy treat at Christmas!
180 g (1 ¾ cups) almond meal
130g (1 cup) of your favourite gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
4 (60 g) fresh soft pitted dates
50 ml extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil or coconut oil
40 g raw honey / maple syrup / molasses / brown rice syrup (your preference)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
1 egg white
1 – In a food processor, combine the almond meal, gluten-free flour, baking powder, dates and all the yummy spices. We processed all the ingredients until they were well combined then switched to hand mixing in a large bowl to get the desired crumbly texture (totally optional – stick with the processor if you prefer!)
2 – Whisk together the olive oil, honey and molasses and add to the crumbly mixture. We wanted to make sure our cookies were sweet enough so we added 3 parts honey to 1 part molasses. Whisk the vanilla and egg white and add to the mixture.
3 – Hand mix with a wooden spoon (or process – either works a treat) until the mixture is thoroughly blended and becomes a soft dough. (Don’t be concerned if you think there’s not enough moisture at this point – just keep mixing!)
4 – Place a sheet of baking paper on your bench and transfer the newly formed dough onto the paper. Pat the dough down to gently flatten the mixture (aim for around 3mm thickness) and position another sheet of baking paper over the top. Chill the dough in the fridge from anywhere between an hour to overnight. To save time we placed our mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes (and rolled it up to save space!)
5 – Preheat oven to 150°C. Roll the chilled dough out onto your bench and remove the top layer of baking paper. Use cookie cutters to cut your shapes and place them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving just over 1cm space between each cookie. Keep combining your dough scraps into balls, roll them out again and cut into shapes until all the dough is used up.
6 – Place baking tray/s in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a gorgeous golden colour. When you’re happy with the colour of your cookies, remove them from the oven and leave out to cool.
7 – The really fun part! Decorate to your heart’s content – we used multicoloured icing pens to add a bit of colourful ISHKA spirit to our gingerbread cookies! Depending on how healthy you’d prefer your cookies, decorate with anything such as icing sugar or melted chocolate, or even fruits and seeds!
The amount of cookies you get will depend on the size of your gingerbread shapes – our batch made 18
Cookies will stay fresh for up to a week if kept in a container at room temperature.
Adapted from original recipe found at Healthy Chef.
Images by Ribbons & Paper Photography for ISHKA.