Paleo Gingerbread Cookies

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Having just scarfed half the first batch while editing these photos, I'm here today making the case that paleo gingerbread cookies are well worth adding to your holiday baking list this year. Let's get straight to the pitch: First, they are so seriously good that no one will suspect them of being gluten and dairy free, and everyone can enjoy them. Second, they make the whole house smell incredibly festive while they're baking, and that is a good thing. Third, they are the perfect texture for cut-outs, which is super fun. And finally, while they have a crisp outside with a soft, chewy middle straight out of the oven, that crispiness goes away after a day or so giving you just the excuse you need to bake another batch.

I've written on the topic of paleo eating before, and although I don't personally follow any particular diet my brother (and best friend for life) is a paleo devotee, so I've learned a lot about it from him. Peter (my bro) runs an awesome Crossfit gym in Toronto and sometimes his clients comes up with a recipe so delicious that it becomes a family favourite... and inevitably fodder for this blog. (The other greatest paleo hits featured here have been the brownies, the raw cheesecake and the kale chips. Yum.) Anyway, that's how we came to discover this paleo gingerbread recipe. Last Christmas when I was back home in Canada for the holidays, one of Peter's gym buddies gave him a box of these cookies which were unanimously declared the BEST THING EVER that night around our kitchen table. I jotted down the recipe and have been patiently holding onto it for a whole year, waiting for this very moment to share it with y'all and the Spring Cottage crew. They've already gone down a storm over here, so I hope your family will love them as much as both of mine do!

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Paleo Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbs organic palm oil shortening*
  • 1 tbs coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups almond flour

*Palm oil shortening (which is NOT hydrogenated, and contains NO trans fats, so don't worry!) can be a tricky ingredient to source. In Australia I've found it here, and if you really are paleo it's definitely worth locating because of how well it works for baking. Coconut oil won't give these cookies quite the same texture, so if you do eat butter, it's the direct 1-to-1 substitute.

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pan, heat the molasses just to a boil. (tip: coat the measuring cup with a little coconut oil to help the molasses slide out easily.)
  2. Add maple syrup, palm shortening (or butter), and coconut milk to the pan. Stir the ingredients until they're combined, then remove from the heat.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir until batter is fully blended.
  5. Refrigerate your dough for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Cut batter with your favourite cookie cutters.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  9. Let cool, decorate, and enjoy.

P.S. The new issue of Kinfolk has just arrived at The Spring Shop!

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