These healthier soft gingerbread cookies are sweet, soft, and lightly spiced. They will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!
This past weekend I found myself with a strong desire to bake, so I thought it would be nice to start a new tradition with my daughters… baking while watching Christmas movies on Netflix! We were quite the sight in the kitchen with my daughter’s iPad playing “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” while we scattered flour everywhere to make healthier soft baked gingerbread cookies…thank goodness for her Survivor case!
As the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, the girls and I discussed what the real meaning of Christmas was while we mixed, rolled, floured and cut out gingerbread men. We all agreed that doing exactly what we were doing: baking together, and spending time together was what Christmas was all about.
We decided that we should try to make our cookies healthIER. Cookies are a treat but with some adjustments they don’t have to be completely void of nutrition. We substituted almond butter instead of butter in our recipe because for a cookie recipe to work, you need some fat in it. By using almond butter we had a healthier fat. Then to make the cookies stay moist, we added apple sauce. For the flour we replaced 1/4 of the flour with whole wheat flour.
The results were AMAZING!!!
After we made our cookies and allowed them to cool, we cuddled up with our cookies and a glass of milk each to watch another holiday favourite of ours on Netflix: “Christmas with the Kranks”.
While we love Christmas with the Kranks, I must admit that we had quite a time (and quite the discussion) over what to watch – there are so many holiday movies on Netflix this month:
- Casper’s Haunted Christmas
- Cat in the Hat Knows a lot About Christmas
- Happy Holidays from Madagascar
- My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas
- Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
- The Swan Princess Christmas
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
To name a few 🙂
And of course, here’s the recipe:
- 1 egg
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons applesauce
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup wheat flour
- handful of turbinado sugar, for garnish
- In a bowl, add the egg, brown sugar, molasses, almond butter, melted butter, applesauce and vanilla extract; whisk vigorously to thoroughly combine.
- Add ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, all purpose four, and wheat flour to the wet ingredients and mix with mixer until well combined. Turn out onto plastic wrap and form into a rough ball; cover with plastic and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Flour a flat surface and a rolling pin with lots of flour (as the almond butter makes the dough very sticky), then roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out gingerbread men, about 25-35 total. Place gingerbread men on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, until puffed and slightly firmed. Let rest on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Store covered at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer term storage.
Gingerbread cookies should be stored in a tightly closed container on the counter or in the pantry. For a long-term option, you can freeze your gingerbread while preserving its taste and texture if you use an air-tight freezer safe container. To freeze, allow cookies to cool completely before freezing. Cookies can be stored frozen for up to 3 months.
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Did you make this recipe?
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What’s your favourite Christmas movie?