For some reason, I’ve always thought that ginger bread cookies were really easy to make, like I mean REALLY EASY, like I can make them with things I would already have in my pantry and then put them straight into the oven kinda easy. So I figured, it’s cool, I can make some this Christmas Eve.
Then I looked up the recipe online, and every single one mentions the use of molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. I know that ginger bread is meant to have a couple of spices, but I guess I just didn’t think it would have too many other spices aside from ginger! I also don’t really use molasses often so it’s never really just sitting in the cupboard.
So leading up to Christmas I managed to pick up a few item for the cookies, i.e. cinnamon, cloves and ginger, which I figure were the essentials. But I didn’t have time to pick up molasses or nutmeg so I made do with what I had. Thankfully, it seems to be a consensus that I can substitute molasses with honey for this recipe. The brown sugar already has a high molasses content, so I really didn’t feel bad about skipping that out.
I also had a look at a few different molasses free ginger bread cookie recipes and tweeked a few things here and there. I played witht the ratio of ingredients a little so these cookies are not as sweet as your regular old ginger bread cookie. which is the way I like them. Also, this way I can eat more!
Here is what I ended up with:
|1/2 tsp||Ground Cinnamon|
|1/2 tsp||Ground Cloves (optional)|
|1/2 tsp||Ground Nutmeg (optional)|
|2 tsp||Grated Ginger|
|1 tsp||Baking Soda|
|110g||Brown Sugar (*Farin på Norsk)|
|40g||Honey / Molasses (molasses are in original recipes, honey is a good substitute)|
This is supposed to make 2 dozen large cookies, but because I used teeny tiny cookie cutters, I ended up with 80 bite sized ones.
* I had the hardest time looking for brown sugar, because everytime I asked for it in Norway, people would give me raw cane sugar. Simply because it’s just not called brown sugar here, buh, so, Farin.
You can also tweek how much spice to put into your cookies. If you want it with a little more punch, add 1/2 tsp more of each spice.
1. Mix dry ingredientts into one bowl. Flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
2. Mix butter and brown sugar into another bowl. Cream together.
3. Add honey, egg and vanilla to butter sugar mixture. Mix well.
4. Add dry ingredients to butter sugar mixture. Mix until combined.
5. Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight (up to a week).
After a few hours…
(This is only half the amount, I made them in two batches)
6. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
7. Line baking tray with baking paper.
8. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about 1/2 cm – 3/4 cm thick.
Be sure to sprinkle and rub flour over your work surface and the top surface of the dough being rolled to avoid sticking. If it gets just a little sticky add more flour, if it gets too sticky, put the dough back in the fridge for a few minutes and let it harden up again.
9. Cut out cookie shapes and place on baking sheet.
Don’t take too long to cut shapes out of the dough, if it gets too soft, the biscuits will lose their shape in the oven.
10. Bake for 7-8 minutes for bite sized cookies, 0r 10-12 minutes for large ones.
If you are unsure, just keep an eye on the cookies and wait until they brown all over with slightly darker edges. Be carfeul not to let them burn.
I had never made ginger bread cookies in my life so I was very curious as to the outcome. In general I was definitely pleased with the results. They had a soft interior with crunchy outer bits. Which is quite different to the ginger bread you would get here in Norway, which are generally thinner and quite crunchy.
The hubs and momma in law loved them, so I’d say that was a job well done for Christmas Eve and a good welcome home from work treat!
It’s definitely a little more work than your regular old butter or sugar cookies, but for ginger bread cookies, they are quite easy!
I’ve already made two batches of dough!
I’ll most likely be making a few more batches over the holiday new year season.
Enjoy the rest of the holidays!