Gingerbread cookies are a staple in many homes during the holiday season. Especially in child care homes, they can provide hours of entertainment for children as they cut out the cookies and decorate them in all sorts of designs. For many, the simple smell of gingerbread dough brings back nostalgic memories. Create that experience for your child care kids while swapping in some healthy ingredients into the traditional gingerbread cookie recipe.
Gingerbread cookies are recognized worldwide and symbolize the holiday season. However, it’s not just the character that is recognizable, it’s the sweet and spicy flavor of ginger and molasses. Molasses and ginger are key ingredients to gingerbread cookies that give them their spicy flavor and dark, rich color. People around the world use these spices in a variety of traditional holiday recipes. In Romania, their traditional gingerbread recipe, turta dulce, does not differ much from America’s classic gingerbread men. They are still full of spice and packed with rich flavor. In France, a popular holiday gingerbread dish is known as pain d’epices, which literally translates to “spiced bread”. Head on over to Italy and you will find gingerbread biscotti, a holiday twist to a traditional Italian classic. Wherever you are in the world, you are sure to find gingerbread during the holiday season.
So bust out your holiday cookie cutters, flour that counter top and let’s get to work!
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 stick butter softened
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 packet stevia
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
- In a mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, coconut sugar, stevia, and nutmeg. Set aside 1/4 cup of flour to use for dusting later.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg, coconut oil, butter, vanilla, and molasses.
- Using a mixer, combine all the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients (still excluding the 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour).
- Roll the dough into a ball and place in a sandwich bag. Freeze the dough for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Powder the counter top or wax paper with flour before rolling the dough out. Continuously dust the counter top with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake the gingerbread cookies for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Let cool thoroughly before decorating with icing
Now’s the time for the fun part! Bring out a variety of decorating supplies for your child care kids including sprinkles, candy buttons, edible markers, candy cane pieces, marshmallow – the list goes one and on (for extra convenience, place all supplies in a muffin pan). Make a simple icing recipe using water or almond milk and powdered sugar. Fill small ziplock bags with 1 large spoonful of icing in each. Cut small holes in one corner of each bag. Let the children go to town!
We would love to see your creations! Share your children’s masterpieces on our Facebook page.