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Friday, 15 December 2017

Healthy Gingerbread Cookies / Christmas Cookies Recipe


Gingerbread cookies are spiced flavored sweet biscuits , specially made around Christmas season . One of the classic Christmas desserts, gingerbread cookies are perfect festive treats for the winter holidays . These healthy gingerbread cookies are egg-less , butter-less , refined sugar and refined flour free and with the goodness of finger-millet and oatmeal. Last year i made Gingerbread cookies for the first time using whole wheat flour and ragi / finger millet flour. Quite happy with the results, this year i tried adding oatmeal also along with whole wheat flour and ragi flour to the cookies and replaced refined sugar with jaggery powder. Used ginger , cinnamon , clove and nutmeg for the warm spicy flavors. Result ?? A box full of delicious and flavorful healthy treats loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients and a house filled up with wonderful aroma of the spices !


We had a bad weather , for this entire week here in Mohali . At first it rained heavily for 2 days, then dust storm followed by drizzling and cool wind which brought down the temperature considerably. I was feeling too lazy to cook and so made a hearty bowl of Bajra Khichdi ( i must say such one pot meals are so much relief ) for my self. To cheer up my little one who in-spite of having a sore throat and running nose , could not stay at home as he is having his unit test exams , i made these delicious gingerbread cookies with warm ginger and cinnamon flavors. He loved the cookies thoroughly and the spark in his eyes made me happy :)


Another reason for my happiness is the lovely shapes of the gingerbread cookies. Yeaahhh...finally after a long wait , i managed to get hold of these lovely Christmas theme cookie cutter set. Remember last year i made star shaped gingerbread cookies i did not have a gingerbread man cookie cutter ? Now without wasting much time , lets get back to the recipe. Now to make these cookies you need a little patience , so plan them when you are not in a hurry or divide the work in two day if running short of time. You may prepare the dough the first day and refrigerate it overnight and then you can keep the rolling part and baking part. These cookies are mildly sweet in taste and the freshly ground spices compliment with it very well. They are light brown in color because of the use of jaggery and finger-millet flour. Icing is optional as these cookies taste good on their own. You can dust the cookies with some powdered sugar if desired. The quantity of ingredients used here yields approx 2 dozen gingerbread cookies of medium size. Serve these cute cookies along with milk to your kids or enjoy them yourself for some guilt free sweet cravings . These homemade cookies make a great festive gift as well for your loved ones :)

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 12-15 minutes per batch
Yield: 24+

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup= 200 ml

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ragi / finger-millet flour
  • 1/2 cup oats, powdered 
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt.


Royal Icing :

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon milk

Method:

  1. In a bowl sift the whole wheat flour, finger-millet flour, oatmeal , spice powders , baking powder and salt. Keep aside. Our dry ingredients are ready.


2. In another bowl dissolve the jaggery in warm water and add oil to it. Whisk well. Mix the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.




3. The dough will be sticky at this stage. Cover it with a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour or if you are not running short of time you can refrigerate it overnight. Refrigeration will make the dough easy to handle.



4.  Remove the dough and place a portion of it on a work surface lined with parchment paper. Keep the rest of the dough refrigerated until use. Roll out into 1 1/4 inch thick sheet. Cut the cookies into desired shapes using a cookie cutter. If you feel the cut outs are difficult to handle, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for few minutes. When it turns hard, lift each cookie delicately with a flat spatula and place it on a baking tray spacing the cookies 1 inch apart as the cookies spread while baking. For better results, keep the cookie tray in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes prior to baking.  Mean while , preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius .






 5. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes per batch at 180 degrees Celsius. Keep a watch after 10 minutes as temperature differs from time to time. When the cookies are done cooking , they should still be semi-soft to the touch but starting to harden around the edges.


6. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to stand until they are firm enough to move to a wire rack. Repeat the process with rest of the dough. Once the cookies are cool, they can be decorated as desired. For icing, take icing sugar in a bowl and add milk to it to get a thick icing. Put it into the icing bag ( i have used zip lock bag) and decorate the cookies. To keep the cookies crisp, transfer them into an air tight container until use.

                           

Notes:

  • Use freshly ground spices for flavorful and aromatic cookies .
  • The cookie dough is sticky and refrigerating the dough prior to rolling and the cookie tray prior to baking makes handling easy and gives good results .
  • Icing is optional as these cookies taste good on their own. You can dust the cookies with some powdered sugar if desired.
  • The cookies are light brown in color due to the use of finger-millet flour and jaggery.
  • When the cookies are done cooking , they should still be semi-soft to the touch but starting to harden around the edges. 
  • To keep the cookies crisp, transfer them into an air tight container until use.
I hope you like the recipe and some of you would give it a try. If you do so, please feel free to share your valuable feedback with us.

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