Double Ginger Molasses Cookies (Dairy Free, Coconut-Sugar-Sweetened, Gluten Free Option)
Hello my friends! I don’t know what it is this year but I’m really feeling the holiday spirit. I’ve been baking cookies, decorating my house with sparkly string lights and whistling Christmas carols for weeks. It doesn’t hurt that it snowed in Virginia this week and that I got to do a snow angel in my front yard! Logan and I went for a walk during the storm and it was pure magic. Walking in a winter wonderland is basically my theme song right now, and I’m not mad about it!
Speaking of cookies, I’m so happy to be sharing this coconut-sugar-sweetened double ginger molasses cookie with y’all today! Ginger cookies are some of my absolute favorites, so I knew this was the cookie recipe I wanted to focus on this year for the blog.
For me, the core elements of a great healthy-ish holiday cookie are as follows… it must be: delicious, barely distinguishable from it’s unhealthy cookie cousins, nostalgic, pretty and unfussy. These cookies hit all of those marks (these are some A+ cookies).
These ginger cookies are buttery, decadent, heavy on the spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, allspice) with an extra special kick from candied ginger. They’re crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. And you can reduce the bake time to 8 minutes for a softer cookie that’s still nice and crisp on the outside. Not to mention that they’re drop cookies. No chilling in the fridge necessary. Which means you can get these cookies into your face faster.
One of the best things about them is you can use spelt flour or a 50/50 blend of chickpea flour and almond meal for a gluten free option. My husband is pretty strictly gluten free these days, so I’ve taken to making half of the batch with spelt flour and half of the batch with chickpea/almond flours. But I gotta say, I think I like the gluten free version even better! The GF option doesnt crackle as much on top, but it’s a touch more buttery thanks to the fats in the almond meal.
I don’t usually recommend cane sugar in my recipes — mainly because I don’t consume refined sugars much myself. But these cookies really benefit from a roll in some crystallized cane sugar. They’re a holiday treat after all. The sparkly sugar crystals on top are so pretty. And really nothing can replace the texture of cane sugar coating a cookie. It gives these cookies that perfectly crisp exterior and subtle candy crunch. And I can feel good eating these considering that they’re made with wholesome flours and mainly sweetened with coconut sugar and molasses. I normally can’t have more than one Christmas cookie of any sort because the sugar content spikes my blood sugar levels and then I get jittery. But these cookies don’t seem to bother me at all.
If you’re curious about a vegan version, I’m sure a chia or flax egg would work as a sub for the egg — especially if using spelt flour. You may have varying results on the cookie’s spreading, crackling or tenderness (vegan cookies tend to be crumbly). I’d love to hear your notes if you try a vegan version!
Double Ginger Molasses Cookies (Dairy Free, Gluten Free Option)
Author: Renee Byrd / willfrolicforfood.com - Active prep time: 20 mins - Inactive prep time: 10 mins - Total baking time: 10 mins per cookie sheet, 30 minutes total - Makes: ~ 24 cookies — PRINT THIS RECIPE
Tips: For softer cookies reduce the baking time to 8 minutes per cookie sheet. If subbing spelt for gluten free flour, I would suggest 8 minutes total for the baking time. For flatter, crisper cookies flatten each cookie dough ball with the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to about 1/2” thick — then top the cookies with a touch more sugar before baking.
2 1/2 cups spelt flour OR if gluten free sub flour for 1 part chickpea flour (1 1/4 cup) and 1 part almond flour (1 1/4 cup)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Pinch sea salt
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) vegan butter (I used Miyokos brand)
1 cup coconut sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup candied ginger
1/2 cup granulated cane sugar (feel free to omit or sub for coconut sugar)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the spelt flour (or chickpea / almond flour if gluten free), baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and sea salt. Stir until combined then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together evenly (about 3 minutes).
To the creamed sugar bowl, add the egg, molasses and vanilla. Using the electric hand mixer to whip everything together evenly.
To the wet ingredients bowl add the dry ingredients, and stir with a spoon or spatula to combine. Stir in the candied ginger until well incorporated.
Form or scoop balls of dough roughly the size of walnuts. Place your cane sugar in a small bowl, and roll each ball in sugar to coat. Place about 8 cookies on each pan set 2” apart — keeping in mind they will spread slightly as they bake.
Bake each cookie sheet for 10 minutes on the middle rack of the oven, one pan at a time. This recipe makes about 3 pans of 8 cookies each, so you’ll repeat the baking process 3 times.
Remove the baked cookies from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before handling.
Repeat step 6., 7. and 8. with the rest of the cookies.
These cookies store really well at room temperature in a cookie jar or cookie tin. I honestly just left mine loosely stored in a cloth on my counter and they were still great a few days later.