So I decided to use some chocolate for a cookies recipe, but I had planned to make gingerbread men and only had the ingredients for those. Though, I know someone who loves any of my cookies as long as they have chocolate in them so I decided to experiment.
2 cups white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup crystallised ginger, loosely packed
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom pods
½ teaspoon ground star anise
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup dark natural cane sugar, or dark brown sugar, packed
2 medium eggs
1/6 cup organic unsulfured molasses (blackstrap)
1/6 cup real maple syrup
Butter for greasing
large grain sugar (muscovado) for decoration
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a food processor, blitz the ginger into a paste.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix again until light and creamy. Blend in the eggs one at a time and then the ginger paste, molasses and maple. Add the flour mixture in two additions either by hand or on low speed. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for an hour or so.
Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and grease two baking trays.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop roughly 1cm thick and cut into gingerbread men (or other fun shapes). Transfer to baking sheets and sprinkle with sugar (optional). Bake for 7 -10 minutes; less for smaller cookies, more for larger. Make sure you dont overcook them - they become dry and crisp the more you cook them so it really depends on your preference - I like slightly chewy cookies so 7 minutes was good.
Variation: Chocolate Flecked Gingerbread Cookies (shown below on left) - Add in a handful of finely chopped dark chocolate when rolling out the dough.
Makes about 1 dozen four-inch gingerbread men or 50 little bite sized cookies.