FOOD

How To Make Easy Gingerbread Men

With a gluten-free option included.

29/11/2017 11:57 AM AEDT
Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

No biscuit quite says 'Christmas' like gingerbread cookies -- the fragrance of cinnamon and nutmeg filling the house, the sweet, caramely flavour, the cute little shapes. The best part? Gingerbread cookies are a cinch to make.

If you can't get enough of Christmas (even if it's a month away) or are thinking about making homemade gifts this Christmas, try this recipe for gingerbread men by Teresa Cutter, aka The Healthy Chef. And if you want to spice them up even more, there's a second recipe for chocolate gingerbread cookies.

Plus, as these recipes use wholesome ingredients like spelt flour, buckwheat flour and unrefined sugar, these treats are somewhat healthier than your regular gingerbread cookies.

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Gingerbread men

These are the perfect addition to your Christmas table or bundled together as a delicious gift. What I love about these cookies is that they taste like shortbread with a delicate hint of vanilla and spice.

Makes 30 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 80g (½ cup) rapadura or coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 organic egg
  • 360g (3 cups) wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 100g good quality white chocolate for decoration (optional)

METHOD

  1. Cream the butter, rapadura, honey, sea salt and vanilla with a whisk or the paddle attachment of your mixer. Scrape the sides of your bowl and add the egg. Mix ingredients until combined.
  2. Combine the spelt flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger in a separate bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a piece of baking paper and flatten slightly. Wrap up the dough with another piece of baking paper and place into the fridge to rest for at least two hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F) fan-forced.
  6. Remove dough from the fridge and roll between two sheets of baking paper until the dough is ½ cm thick. Cut the cookies into shapes (you can use gingerbread cookie cutters, squares, circles or any other shape you would love your cookie to be).
  7. Place cookies onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 20–30 minutes or until cookies are just golden. Remove cookies from the oven and cool completely. Decorate the cookies with white chocolate, if you desire, or serve on their own.

Notes: to decorate your cookies, melt white chocolate in a small bowl over a small pot of simmering water. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat and pour into a small piping bag made from baking paper. Decorate your cookies and enjoy.

eli_asenova via Getty Images

Chocolate gingerbread men

An indulgent twist on a classic favourite, these gingerbread men help spread the Christmas cheer. The antioxidants from the cacao helps to naturally boost the feel-good chemicals in the body.

Makes 30 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter.

INGREDIENTS

  • 240g (1 cup) butter
  • 80g (½ cup) rapadura, coconut sugar or unrefined raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 240g (2 cups) buckwheat flour
  • 60g (½ cup) cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100g good quality white chocolate for decoration (optional)

METHOD

  1. Combine butter, rapadura, vanilla and sea salt into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat well for 5-8 minutes until light and creamy.
  2. Combine buckwheat flour, cacao, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients into the creamed butter and mix through lightly until combined.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a piece of baking paper and flatten slightly. Wrap up the dough with another piece of baking paper and place into the fridge to rest for at least four hours.
  5. Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F) fan-forced.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll between two sheets of baking paper until the dough is ½ cm thick. Cut the cookies into your desired shapes and place them onto a lined baking tray.
  7. Bake for 20–30 minutes or until cookies are cooked through. Remove cookies from the oven and cool completely. Decorate the cookies with melted white chocolate, if you desire, or serve on their own.

Notes: add 100g dark chocolate pieces to make luscious choc chip gingerbread cookies.

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