Christmas never feels complete without those little cute guys!
Gingerbread man is one of the essential Christmas traditions that you can’t skip but what you can skip especially for the benefit of little kids in the family is the extra sugar, butter and blanched material used in the traditional recipes and the store bought cookies.
Without compromising even 1% of the taste and honestly I think this one is even tastier and lighter from the original one with a middle eastern twist in it that everyone will be blown away with; without knowing really what it is!
The taste is amazing with this secret middle eastern ingredients I added, they keep eating and asking about that deep sweet smoked flavor of those cookies, trust me it is even better than the old fashion western recipe.
Besides switching to whole wheat flour instead of bleached white one, and coconut oil instead of butter and coconut sugar instead of normal white sugar I substitute the molasses with a much tastier deeper taste Middle Eastern molasses that will upgrade your cute little gingerbread man to a whole another level.
Carob Molasses is my must favorite natural sweetener of all time it like any other molasses but with a much deeper taste coming from the carob.
It is made my soaking milled carob pods in water and reducing the extracted liquid till you have a thick syrup it is a long process still practiced by few towns over Lebanon. One of the best town in doing carob molasses is happened to be my husband hometown! They make the must best thick organic carob molasses of all time! And we happen to receive a fresh one from this year carob season when I was just about to start to build this gingerbread recipe!
A beautiful coincidence that lead to this amazing crispy from the outside and chewy from the inside cookies.
You may wonder if the dough will still be easy to work with all those substitutions! Well the dough maintains the same structure as the traditional one and it is so easy to mix and work with you don’t even need any electrical equipment you can work it by your hands.
Now an essential step I need to talk about for pulling out a successful gingerbread cookies is the “chill time” the dough needs to chill in the fridge so it is baked better and without spreading in the oven and change shape. You can even prepare it the night before you want to bake and pup it in the fridge for the next day for even much better cookies texture and shape.
You can use any kind of icing you like, I would like to complete my work and not use a lot of refined sugar by icing with coconut flakes or melted dark chocolate chips or sprinkle some coconut sugar before baking! But feel free to use whatever you like, I am just trying to give you some less “refined” alternatives
So let us start baking some cute men, shall we!
Gingerbread Carob Cookies:
Serve 50-52 pieces
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground clove
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup carob molasses
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- Mix in a deep big bowl all the dry ingredients: flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, clove, pepper, baking soda and baking powder and whisk it all together.*
- In another small bowl: whisk together the coconut oil and the carob molasses until well combined and smooth.
- Add the coconut sugar to the carob mixture and whisk until well blended.
- Add the egg to the mixture and it all together until blended well and no crumbles in it
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and mix it all together with a spatula till combined and form into a dough.
- It may take you a couple of minutes to form the dough don’t worry and for best result use your hand to form it better.
- Divide the mixture into two batch wrap each one with some plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour minimum up to overnight.*
- When you want to bake it after chilling, preheat oven on 180 C◦, PUT THE OVEN RACK IN THE UPPER THIRD OF THE OVEN.
- Line the baking pan with some parchment paper.
- Flour your working top and roll out one of the two batch you made until you have a flat layer of half centimeter thickness.
- Use your ginger man cookies cutter or whatever shapes you have to cut the cookies.
- Line the cookies , 1 cm space between them
- You can sprinkle some extra sugar on the top for garnish
- Bake for 7 minutes and remove from oven, the cookies will continue to set after you remove from oven, so don’t put it any more longer than 7 minute so you won’t burn them or over crisp it, it need to be crispy from the outside and chewy from the inside.
- Let it cool down for 5 minutes and Enjoy! **
*it is recommended to sift all the dry ingredients into a strainer to remove any clumps or big chunks from it.
*when you remove the dough from the fridge it may be hard to play with and roll out, let it sit for 30 minutes on your counter top before starting to roll it out and if you are really in hurry pop it in the microwave for just 10 seconds and then remove and press with your hand to soften.
* Those cookies can live up to 1 week in closed container outside the fridge on your counter or in the pantry.