In my house, you know the holidays have officially arrived when the gingerbread come out and play. To really set the mood, I like to kick things off with my Christmas playlist (a little Michael Bublé crooning in the background) while I swing away baking a batch of gingerbread cookies. For the past few years, this has been my holiday tradition with myself.
These low-fat gingerbread cookies are just the thing to welcome the holidays. Spiced with ginger, cloves, cinnamon and allspice, and sweetened with molasses and apple sauce, there’s no better way to indulge in a holiday treat without worrying (too much) about your waistline.
Gingerbread Men & Tree Cookies
Adapted from Skinnytaste.com
Makes 48 cookie
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup dark molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tbsp egg whites
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and apple sauce until smooth. Add the egg and molasses and mix well. Tip: Spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring the molasses to easily pour it out without any mess.
2. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and spices. Slowly add to the wet mixture in batches, mixing well until fully incorporated.
3. Divide the dough in two and form a ball, then flatten. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge 2 hours or up to overnight.
4. Preheat your oven to 350°. Line your counter with a piece of parchment paper, dust with flour and roll out your dough with a rolling pin. Flatten until about 1/8-inch thick. if the dough sticks to your rolling pin, dust the top with a little flour.
5. Use your cookie cutter of choice to cup out your shapes. Once you’ve cut out your shapes, you can roll the remaining dough in a ball and roll it out again and cut out more shapes. Repeat until you have no dough left.
6. Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.
7. While the cookies bake, prepare the icing. Mix the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. If the icing is too thin, add a little more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little more lemon juice. Once the cookies have cooled, add the icing to a piping bag and decorate your cookies.
[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]