Monday, 5 December 2016

Gingerbread Cookies (review)

I am absolutely honoured to share with you today a delicious gingerbread cookie recipe hot from the press of my fellow blogger and friend Sharon's new cook-book 'Bit of the Good Stuff'!

When Sharon asked me if I would like to review a recipe from her new book, I literally jumped at the chance. I have so much respect for all my blogging friends, and in particular I have a soft spot for Sharon's blog 'Bit of The Good Stuff'. She is a passionate vegan blogger and a Mum, and knows just the right kind of recipes to create for busy families.

So the only difficulty I had with this review, was deciding what to make. There are over 100 whole-food, vegan recipes in this book, many are refined sugar free and gluten free too. They include lots of veganised favourites like spaghetti bolognese and tea loaf, but also include some more unusual recipes, such as pea soup with ginger and oregano and Caribbean curry with fried plantain. As delicious as all those sound though, the ginger biscuits won. Just look at this picture, how could I resist...

I used to love a good ginger snap biscuit growing up, but this has been the one recipe I had no idea even where to begin to make a healthier version. I don't know how Sharon worked these out, but they are perfect. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle, just the right amount of ginger and the top crackles beautifully. These are the perfect recipe for the Christmas season and would be a fab home-made gift too.

I was really pleased with how these turned out. I think I made them a little fatter than I should have as the mixture only made 11 instead of 12, but that doesn't matter as next time I'll make a double batch- they were gone in just a few minutes!

I did make a couple of substitutions in this recipe, but nothing major. Instead of regular wholemeal flour I used wholemeal spelt flour, and as I forgot to get molasses, I used date syrup which is also sticky and dark and I figured it would work- happily it did! Here's my batch, how does my picture compare...?

You can buy copies of this wonderful book from the online bookshop, and I am super excited to be able to offer you a discount that will give you 15% off both the book and shipping- and this ships worldwide too. Perfect for Christmas pressies. Just enter the code ELLIE at the checkout!

Gingerbread Cookies
Makes 12

75g/1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar or coconut sugar
50ml/ 1/4 cup organic rapeseed oil or other neutral oil (I used light olive)
65g/ 3 TBSP black treacle or molasses (I used date syrup)
22g/ 1 1/2 tsp soya or almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120g fine wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
1 - 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan) / 400F. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

Place the coconut sugar, oil, date syrup, soya milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth and fully combined.

Place the flour, spices, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a separate bowl and stir. Tip half the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine. Add the remaining dry and stir together until the mixture comes together in a firm dough.

Scoop slightly rounded tablespoons of dough and arrange six on each sheet. With damp fingers press the dough into a thin cookie shape.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 9 minutes or until dry to the tough. (The cookies will still feel soft, but they firm up as they set!)

Leave the cookies on the baking sheets until they are firm, then use a spatula to remove them from the baking paper and transfer to a wire rack.

When completely cool, store in an airtight container where they will keep for a couple of weeks. They also freeze well. Leave at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.