This cookie recipe is part of the 2018 Bariatric Foodie No-Flour, Sugar-Free Cookie Collection, sponsored by Sola. Click here to get back to the entire collection!
Y’all really need to know…I was nervous about taking on this cookie recipe. Like…how the hell do you make a ginger cookie without molasses?
This is what I wondered to myself as I headed into this endeavor.
I’ve been making ginger snaps and gingerbread cut-out cookies for a while now. And I’ve baked cookies since before I was old enough to bake cookies. One thing I understand very well: the purpose of sugar in cookies!
Molasses not only lends a distinctive flavor to ginger cookies, it is also almost exclusively responsible for their final texture. The sugar and molasses in the dough caramelize and harden to make that distinctive “snap” you know and love.
So…a sugar-free gingerbread cookie? Is that even possible?
After about a gamillionty-seven failures, I’m happy to report the answer is YES! It is possible. With no flour. No molasses. And you still get to keep the crispyness. (Well, most of it anyways.)
Let’s dive into this recipe, shall we?
I just went with butter, y’all. If you’re looking to cut down calories, try something like Blue Bonnet Light or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter baking sticks. But I like butter. So I used butter!
So when you take molasses out of the equation, you have a slight conundrum. I tried this recipe a few different ways and many of them tasted like sugar-free brown sugar/cinnamon oatmeal! (Which is yummy but not what we are going for.)
In the end, I found a great inspiration recipe from this site. It just used the requisite gingerbread spices and ditched the molasses altogether. I wasn’t sure that was gonna work out but it did! I think probably because of the pinch of allspice I used, it tasted like it had molasses in it. (Or maybe that was wishful thinking on the part of my brain. You be the judge!)
It took some playing with this recipe, though, to get it to the texture I wanted. When I bake regular gingerbread cookies, they are pretty firm when I take them out of the oven and harden to a crisp upon cooling. I love that! (Pro-Tip: If you like your teeth, make sure you roll your cookies thin, mkay?)
At the end of the day, most of my failed cookie tests had to do with the wet-to-dry ingredient ration. As you’ll see in the base cookie recipe, each of these cookie recipes require 1/2 an egg. That’s right. Half. Not a small egg. Half a large egg. (I tried a small egg and that was still too much.) My advice? This might be a good time to embrace Egg Beaters! I give the amount of Egg Beaters to use in the recipe and it’s so much easier than what I ended up doing (which was parsing out eggs into little bowls and cursing a lot).
I went back and forth a lot on whether this was going to be a ginger snap or a gingerbread cookie. The whole rolling thing made me nervous. But at the end of the day, I went with delight and not only did Gingerbread men…I did Ninja-bread men! I got these fun cookie cutters a few years back as a present and I love using them. Here’s where you can snag some for yourself.
So this recipe is pretty straightforward. It doesn’t take long to mix and it yields a nice, legit cookie. But here are a few tips:
- Do make sure you mix it well. Like…mix it. Then mix it again. And then mix it a third time. Almond flour clumps. And it tends to reveal those clumps to you when you are rolling out your dough!
- Put the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer while your oven is pre-heating. The dough will be soft out of the bowl. It needs to firm up. Even after you roll it, you’ll find it’s softened quite a bit from the heat of your hands touching it. So between each roll-out, stick it back in the freezer! (Or make sure you roll it out well enough to cut all your cookie shapes.)
- I highly advise you to also put the dough ball between a bit, folded piece of parchment. Unless you want to be adding tons of flour to your rolling pin. (And, no, the almond flour doesn’t work for that purpose!)
- Keep an eye on these suckers in the oven! This is true with any gingerbread cookie. For traditional cookies, they can go from perfectly cooked to completely burnt in the bat of an eyelash (anything with that much sugar does). For these…I’m not really sure why, but they had the same dynamic going on. And burnt bottoms are just…sad.
Want all the cookies?
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- 1 c. almond flour (plus one additional tbsp.)
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter melted
- 3 tbsp. Sola granular (or your preferred sweetener, equivalent to 3 tbsp. sugar)
- 1/2 large egg (or 2 tbsp. Egg Beaters)
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together almond flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine butter and sweetener, mixing throughly before adding egg and vanilla and mixing again.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir well, making sure to work out any lumps of almond flour.
- Consistency should be of a soft cookie dough. If it is more like cake batter, add an additional tablespoon of almond flour and mixing thoroughly before turning the dough out into plastic wrap. Wrap in a ball and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Cut two large sheets of parchment paper and lay one out on your work surface. Place the dough ball on the paper and cover it with the second piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough flat.
- Use your cookie cutters to cut as many shapes as you can, working quickly, to remove the excess dough. Transfer the parchment paper to a cookie sheet. Re-freeze any additional dough and repeat the process until your cookie sheet is full or you are out of dough. (You may need to use the last bit of dough to make flattened discs for round cookies.)
- Bake for 11 minutes, but stay near the oven. The bottoms of these can burn quickly.
- Using a cookie spatula, quickly transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool.
I haven’t even tried this yet and I already love you! Gingerbread has always been my favorite thing and I have been hoping there was sometihing I could work with post Gastric Sleeve. I found a hermit cookie recipe last year and now I have Gingerrabread!