Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Granjan's Gingerbread Boys

Gingerbread cookies are one of my all time favorites, hands down!  This is a good, old-fashioned recipe that I got from my Granjan (my dad's mom), who used to make them every single Christmas!  They are full of flavor, great texture, and fond memories of my's no wonder I have to make an extra big batch each time I make them!!  Already mostly healthy, I just had a tweak a few things in the original recipe to make them "up to my standards" of health!!  Otherwise, these are the same cookies that have been in my family for generations!

Preheat oven to 350

Mix thoroughly:

1/3 c. coconut oil (softened)
3/4 c. agave
1 1/2 c. dark molasses (I use blackstrapp because it's SUPER high in iron per'll use the whole jar.)

Stir in:

1/2 c. cold water

Sift together, then stir in:

6 c. King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour
1 t. sea salt
1 t. allspice
1 t. ginger
1 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon

Once everything is mixed together, prepare:

2 t. baking soda in 3 T. flour and 3 T. cold water

Mix into the batter and chill for 1-12 hours

-Note:  when it's time to roll out the dough, it will be very hard...this is where you get some exercise in!!  I actually split the dough into 2 separate balls to make it a bit easier!

-Roll out very thick...don't make it too thin...and use your favorite cookie cutters to make cut outs...I actually do a few cut outs with the kids, but then finish up the majority of the dough with a plain old circular cutter!

-Bake for 15-18 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies you've cut out)  You'll know when they're done when you touch in the center, and you don't leave a finger imprint.

-Cool completely before frosting.

The Frosting:

Ok, side note:  Frosting is one of those things that I NEVER measure out...I just get a good feel for taste and texture and go with it.  I found a recipe to use as a base, if you follow it correctly, it will work out for sure...I just can't guarantee you it will be the same thing that I did when I made the frosting pictured above!

3 T. Earth Balance Buttery Spread (do not soften)
3 T. Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (do not soften)

-Cream together until smooth (or your frosting will be lumpy and unattractive!)


2 1/4 c. powdered sugar (I cringe just writing this out...but honestly, I haven't been able to do a good piping frosting without it...PLEASE let me know if you find something!)
1/8 t. sea salt

-Beat until a very firm frosting begins to emerge, and add:

2-4 t. of almond milk (add very slowly, because you definitely want a firm frosting)
1 t. vanilla

-Taste the frosting...if it tastes good, but is runny, add more powdered sugar...if it tastes too sugary, add more butter (make sure you beat it up smoothly before you add it)

-Divide and add food coloring

-Top with your favorite sprinkles, or just eat them plain...either way...this recipe spells WINNER!  Enjoy!

-Note:  to make the intricate designs, I put some frosting into a plastic baggie, and cut the tip off of one of the corners (not too big...start small, and cut more if you need to).  Twist the bag to get rid of all the air, and squeeze frosting through the hole.  This is WAY cleaner than letting your kids use knives and bowls of frosting, and they think they are pretty cool doing it!  My 4 yr old LOVES piping, and is getting pretty good at it!!

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