Love gingerbread, but can’t find a healthy option? You can enjoy that holiday favorite again with these refined sugar-free paleo gingerbread cutout cookies!
A holiday favorite.
Ever since childhood gingerbread has been a favorite holiday tradition of mine. Not that I don’t enjoy gingerbread any other time of year, but during the holidays there’s just something special about it!
As a kid, my family and my best friend’s family would get together and build gingerbread houses and trains that my best friend’s mom had baked fresh. I can still smell the sweet gingerbread fragrance filling the house.
After becoming a mom myself, I’ve never actually made and decorated gingerbread for houses or trains with my kids. The thought of decorating with five little kids is a little… overwhelming. Or should I say the mess they’d make is? But I do still make gingerbread every year – either in the form of cake or cookies.
Little bites of nostalgia.
Thankfully my kids aren’t too disappointed that I haven’t included them in the gingerbread house tradition of my family. They’re perfectly happy to enjoy gingerbread cutout cookies. So I try and save them some when I make them. Haha!
Seriously, though, I have a REALLY hard time not eating a whole batch of gingerbread cutout cookies by myself! They’re just so delicious, so easy to pop right into your mouth. And the smell is full of nostalgia.
Since being on the GAPS Diet, where molasses is a no-no, gingerbread has not been frequenting my kitchen. Sadness, eh? I have cheated once and put a few drops of molasses in my gingerbread latte, but other than that, I’ve been molasses-free for a long time.
Thankfully, even though gingerbread without molasses isn’t reaaaally gingerbread, I’ve figured out a way to make it pretty dang close! And my secret ingredient is one of my all-time favorite things ever.
The power of cocoa.
That’s right, friends. While it’s not quite exactly 100% the same as molasses, cocoa does give these gingerbread cutouts that nice deep flavor that molasses provides.
Now, granted, cocoa and carob aren’t technically on the GAPS Diet, either. But after being on the diet for a while people often find that they can add cocoa in without any adverse affects. Thankfully I happen to be one of those people.
Could you imagine this blog without cocoa powder? What would I write about? Haha.
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Paleo Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
Free of grain, gluten, dairy, and refined sugar.
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa or carob powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- dash of sea salt
- 1 organic or free-range egg*
- 3 tablespoons honey (local is best!)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I like to make my own)
Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add in the wet ingredients. Mix well to combine. It will seem dry, just keep mixing until it comes together into a ball!
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (I know, how un-crunchy of me!) and stick in the fridge for up to 1/2 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the fridge and divide in half. Roll half the dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap and cut into desired shapes. Place on prepared cookie sheet.
Repeat until all the dough is used up.
Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your gingerbread. Store leftovers in a covered container.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on how thin you roll the dough and how large you cut the cookies.
Dough can be refrigerated for a few days before using it.
*I have made these egg-free, using 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil in place of the egg. Just note that the texture of the cookies will be different and a little more crumbly.
If you are looking for more GAPS-friendly treats, check these out.