Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Let the Good Times Roll

 I may be an impatient baker (I want to make my dough, bake it and eat it in no time flat) but rolled cookies have always had a special place in my heart due to their fun factor.  Cutting out silly shapes, playing with the finished product and remembering lines from Shrek (Gingerbread Man: "Ok, I'll tell you...do you know...the Muffin Man?").  I haven't tried a spelt test yet, so I've shied away from recipes containing it until one day I thought, "What about rye?"  What about rye, indeed!  It seemed like the perfect flavour combination with molasses, ginger and cinnamon, no?  I found this recipe that I had saved a little while ago and gave it a whirl.  After doing that, I figured a few tweaks and I would be super happy with it.  It's not quite what gingerbread is with wheat and dairy, but it certainly hits the spot for me.  To be without so much and still have these guys?  My winter is saved!

Gingerbread Cookies

1 1/2 cups sifted rye flour, plus more for rolling and cutting out dough
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup Earth Balance Butter, softened (corn allergy alert! Natural flavours are derived from corn, according to their website, coconut oil would be your next best bet).
1/4 cup coconut sugar (aka-palm sugar)
1 tablespoon flax meal  in 3 Tablespoons applesauce
1/3 cup unsulfered organic molasses

In a small bowl, combine the flax meal with the applesauce and set aside. Cream butter and coconut sugar in a large bowl. Add the molasses and flax mixture and mix until well combined. In another small bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together until well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. 

A wet enough dough to withstand the drying effects of being rolled out on a floured board.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out thin, 1/8-3/16", on a floured surface.  Any thicker and the texture doesn't seem quite right. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on parchment lined baking sheets with a couple centimeters between them. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, they will puff up a bit but seem a little golden at the edges.  Solid cookies, like gingerbread men, will take a wee bit longer than cookies with cutouts (like my snowflakes here).  I found that my snowflakes turned out crispier baked at the same time as the gingerbread men.  I suppose something from high school stuck because I think it has something to do with the heat being able to cover more surface area of the snowflake cookies. Still yummy, but crispy, and I prefer a tender cookie.  Remove from pan immediately if you are satisfied with the doneness of your cookie.   If you pulled your cookies out a wee bit shy of what you like it to be, let it sit on the pan for a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Once cooled, enjoy plain or with icing.
Let the good times roll!

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