One word that comes to our mind when we think of baking on Christmas – Gingerbread. From gingerbread cake to cookies to smoothies, we want everything. So, for this Christmas, I decided to innovate the gingerbread cookie.
These cookies are soft but tender enough to take a nice bite. These are made of 100% whole wheat flour (no refined flour or all-purpose flour) which makes them healthier to enjoy. There are no eggs either. But to make them more delicious, I added some dried fruits and raisins to them. They give such nice chewiness to these cookies that you won’t be able to have just one.
BEWARE! They can get addictive with just one bite 😀
We are just back from our trip to India. We went there to celebrate Diwali with our family. Now you can imagine the number of sweets and food we enjoyed on that one-month-long trip. Now, when we are back, the new festival preparation started. It’s the Christmas season. & I can’t stop myself from not indulging in baking some Christmas goodies. I even gift something homemade to my friends.
I already made some gorgeous butter almond cookies, Jim jam cookies, Christmas plum cake. So, now I wanted to make something healthier. That’s when I thought to do some innovation on Gingerbread cookies. I made them using whole wheat flour, added some nuts, seeds, and dried fruits in it, and I did not use any baking powder, baking soda & refined sugar in it. You can actually enjoy these cookies with no guilt. & there is something about homemade cookies that make them very addictive. I don’t eat store-bought cookies or biscuits that much but can’t stop myself for homemade cookies.
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WHAT IS A GINGERBREAD COOKIE?
Gingerbread basically refers to a broad category of goodies that you often make during the Christmas season. The main ingredients for a gingerbread include the following:
- Ginger Powder
- Cinnamon Powder
- Brown Sugar & Molasses for sweetness
You can do so many things using these ingredients like the classic Christmas Plum Cake, Gingerbread Cookies, Gingerbread Muffins, Gingerbread Smoothie, etc. Be as creative as you can get.
TIPS TO BAKE IT RIGHT
- Flour: These cookies are made using whole wheat flour. If you wantto use any other flour, I would say Go Ahead but just make sure you get the dough sonsistency right. Every flour had different mositure absorption tendency. Some needs less moisture while there are some flours like oats or whole wheat flour needs more moisture. And if you have the idea of the right consistency, you can use any flour you need.
- Sifting: Sifting dry ingredients is very important. Sometimes your sugar or flour contains some tiny lumps which are unnoticeable. And it gets difficult to form a smooth dough if they have any lumps. Especially, sugar lumps don’t dissolve while creaming it with butter. You will be able to see those lumps even in baked cookies. Hence, SIFT DRY INGREDIENTS.
- Room temperature ingredients: Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. If your butter, flour, etc. are in the refrigerator, take them out at least 1 hr before baking.
- Creaming: For how long should we cream the butter and sugar? More than the time, focus on the texture. Whisk it well till you see a light-colored, creamy, foamy texture. If you need the time, then whisk by hand for around 5 to 7 minutes.
- Chill the dough: Refrigerating the dough after rolling is important to get the right shape of the cookie. If you won’t chill the dough, it will be slightly difficult to cut it using a cookie cutter because the dough warms up while rolling and becomes softer.
BUTTER ALMOND COOKIE TEXTURE
These cookies are buttery soft but tender enough to hold the shape and take a nice bite. These are not soft and chewy. You take a bite and it just melts in the mouth. These cookies don’t puff up or increase in size because there is no baking powder or baking soda in them.
Since we added some dried fruits like apricots, raisins, and cranberries to these cookies, you will get that fruit’s chewiness when you take a bite.
HOW TO STORE THESE COOKIES?
You can put these cookies in an air-tight container and leave them on the counter for up to 7 days. But it depends on the temperature of the place you are living in. Even then, you can easily enjoy them for 2 to 3 days.
I live in Munich, Germany and the weather here is quite cold – 0 degrees Celsius or below. But the room temperature is not that cold. I kept them on the kitchen counter and they lasted for more than 7 days. They didn’t stale. I kept them in an air-tight container.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I OVERMIX THE DOUGH?
This is a big problem in making cookie dough. Often, we overmix the dough that results in hard cookies. When you overmix the dough, it forms gluten. And on baking, you won’t get that crumbly texture. It will be a little hard and snap on breaking.
Also, use a light hand while mixing the dough. Too much pressure often results in overmixing and gluten formation. I would suggest using a spatula for mixing because that helps a lot. And mix using the cut and fold method. In this method, you cut the dough using the spatula and then fold everything in. Then repeat the same until you don’t see any dry flour left in the bowl.
CAN I USE JAGGERY INSTEAD OF BROWN SUGAR?
Yes. Of course. You can use dark or light brown sugar or even replace brown sugar with jaggery. It gives you a nice caramelized flavor and doesn’t alter the cookie texture too.
MORE RECIPE SUGGESTIONS TO BAKE
Now you are all ready to bake these delicious Christmas Special Gingerbread cookies. Grab all the ingredients and bake them today. If you enjoy the recipe, please share it on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.
Happy Baking & Merry Christmas.
Love from us
Richa & Jatin
100% Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cookies
Soft. Tender. Addictive.
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour (or 160 Grams)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Ground Almonds
- 2 tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch (or 17 Grams)
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 1/4 cup Apricot (or 40 Grams) chopped
- 1/4 cup Cranberries (or 40 Grams) chopped
- 1/4 cup Raisins (or 40 Grams) chopped
- 1/2 cup Butter (or 150 Grams) room temperature
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (or 106 Grams)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 cup Extra Flour (40 Grams) or as needed
- Milk Optional, as needed
- Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the dried fruits and mix well. Keep it aside.
- In a bowl, cream butter and sugar till they are light and fluffy.
- Add Vanilla Extract and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients in the creamed butter and mix using the cut and fold method.
Mix until you don't see any dry flour left in the bowl.
Rolling & Shaping
- Roll the dough in between the two parchment papers. Roll for around 1/2 cm thickness.
Don't keep it thick or very thin.
- Refrigerate the rolled dough for around 1 hour.
- After an hour, Preheat the oven to 170 C, top/bottom.
- Cut the dough using a cookie cutter and place them on a lined baking tray. Roll the leftover dough and repeat the same.
- Bake at 170 C for 10 to 13 minutes.
- Take them out and let them rest on the tray itself for around 5 minutes.
- Transfer on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
- Enjoy fresh cookies with a warm cup of tea or coffee :)
- Ginger Powder
- Cinnamon Powder
- Brown Sugar & Molasses for sweetness
The most common reason for hard and tough cookies is over mixing the dough. Mix the cookie dough only till you don’t see any dry flour left in the bowl. Also, using a spatula to mix prevents gluten formation. Mixing the dough with hands may result in kneading the dough. If this forms too much gluten, you will get a tough cookie.
If there is too much flour in the dough, the cookies become dry and they don’t taste good. To prevent that, measure all the dry and wet ingredients carefully. If after measuring everything accurately the dough still feels dry, add a little bit of extra liquid – 1 Tbsp at a time.
This is one question we get asked a lot. There are a lot of things that you can try.
- Pressure Cooker Oven – Heat salt or sand in your pressure cooker. Then place a ring and on top of that comes a plate/tray for baking cookies. Leave some space in between the cookies as they spread. Cover the pressure cooker without the rubber and whistle. Cook for a few minutes. Check and remove once they are perfectly cooked.
- Cast Iron Kadhai – It works the same as the pressure cooker. Just cover it up with a lid. Seal it well. It will work like an oven.
- Idli Stand – This is the easiest of all the methods. Put the cookies on each mould of the idli stand and cook them without any water or steam. It turns out absolutely good.
Hope that these methods will work for you. Happy baking.