One of my all-time favourite treats is chewy ginger molasses cookies. Years ago, long before I went vegan, I would love having a ginger cookie with a peppermint tea while I studied. I set out to create a vegan version of this cookie and my recipe does not disappoint! Everyone who has tried these Ginger Molasses Cookies has loved them! These cookies are perfect for the holidays (or really any time). The turbinando sugar coating really makes these cookies sparkle! Today I am baking up a fresh batch to bring to my friend @BeautyGrammar's “Merry Little Christmas” party this evening.
These cookies are meant to be a treat, however, they are definitely a healthier version of a traditional ginger cookie. I have removed the animal products including butter, shortening and eggs, and reduced the sugar and salt contents. I also used a non-hydrogenated organic vegan shortening from Spectrum which is made with certified sustainable palm oil by RSPO and has 0 trans fats. Additionally un-sulphured blackstrap molasses boasts the added health benefits of being rich in magnesium, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium and iron. These cookies can be made using gluten-free or whole wheat flour - they turned out perfectly both ways!
sprouted whole wheat flour option
I tested this recipe using organic sprouted whole wheat flour from One Degree Organics as the non-gluten free option and the result was excellent. One Degree Organics is serious about accountability and transparency. An element that I love about this Canadian company is that their product packaging includes information about the the farmer who produced the product so that consumers can trace the life story of every ingredient, right down to the last grain of salt. The particular flour that I used was grown by family farmer Roy Brewin in Taber, Alberta, Canada.
South of Taber, Alberta is a place that farmer Roy Brewin likes to call "the California of Canada." No surfers, gridlock, Botox or power outages, but rich soil, an extensive irrigation network, and lots of sunny days. “Organic, chemical free and grown from the heart.”
Sprouted flours are a wonderful choice if you’re looking to maximize the nutritional value in your baking. The practice of sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes and grains kick-starts the germination process, which, in turn, boosts the nutritional value and digestibility of the end product.*
One Degree Organics uses only organic foods grown using natural veganic methods that are in alignment with the values of veganism. Veganic is a step beyond organic, it is truly the next level, removing animal agriculture from the equitation. While organic crops are grown without the use of chemicals, an organic certification does allow farmers to use animal waste, like blood, bone meal, chicken litter, fish emulsions and guano (bird excrement), to fertilize fields. Some organic farms purchase these animal byproducts from slaughterhouses and other non-organic sources. These animals may have been given antibiotics and hormones throughout their lives, and have had exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. Veganic farms use only plant-based fertilizers, together with smart growing techniques such as alternating crops over time to build nutrients in the soil.***
My preference is to use 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flours for gluten-free baking as there is no guess-work involved. I always try to avoid gluten-free flour mixes that contain conventional potato and corn starch because I am wary about using non-organic potato and corn since these are often grown with pesticides and are commonly genetically modified. I have tested out a number of gluten-free flours over the years and I have found the best results with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
I’ve used both fresh and dried ginger to kick this recipe up a notch. According to Doctor Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org and author of “How Not to Die”, ginger is incredibly healing and has been used in traditional healing systems for thousands of years. In fact, it is scientifically considered to be a non-toxic, broad-spectrum anti-emetic (anti-vomiting agent), effective in the treatment of nausea during motion sickness, pregnancy, chemotherapy, and radiation and after surgery. It has also been clinically proven to effectively treat migraine headaches - just one-eighth of a teaspoon of powdered ginger (at the cost of less than a penny) worked just as well and just as fast as the drug sumatriptan (Imitrex), which is one of the top-selling, billion-dollar drugs in the world.****
1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons filtered water
1/2 cup vegan non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup firmly packed whole brown sugar
2 + 1/4 cups flour (spouted whole wheat or 1-1 gluten-free flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda (aluminum-free)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1/2 cup turbinando sugar
(use organic ingredients)
Yield: 36 cookies (3 dozen)
1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line 3 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon ground flax with 3 tbsp filtered water and allow to stand for 10 minutes until thickened.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, add shortening and coconut oil (both softened at room temperature), brown sugar and vanilla for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy.
Note: if you’re using a handheld mixer you may have to stop a couple of times to scrape down the sides of your bowl to ensure that everything is evenly incorporated.
4. Beat in flax mixture, molasses and fresh ginger. Mix until well combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
5. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, nutmeg and salt.
6. On a low setting, mix in flour mixture in 1/2 cup portions, beating until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed to ensure that everything is well mixed, but do not over mix. It is ok if the dough seems crumbly, it will stick together when you roll it into balls.
7. Roll dough into 36 - 1 inch balls. Pour sugar onto a small dish, flatten each ball and coat with sugar on both sides. Place on cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart (12 per sheet).
8. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate trays and cook another 4-5 minutes. The cookies will be soft when you first remove them from the oven, they will harden as they cool. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes or so.
Happy Holidays xo
This post was in collaboration with One Degree Organics. This is an unpaid endorsement and the products used in this post were kindly gifted for review. I only share products that I personally use and that are made with the highest integrity.
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*Crosby, Heather. Yum Universe. Dallas: BonBella, 2014. Print.
** Dodge, Charlie. "Exploring the Virtues of Sprouted Grains." One Degree Organic Foods. N.p., 28 Jan. 2013. Web. 19 Dec. 2015. <http://blog.onedegreeorganics.com/2013/01/exploring-the-virtues-of-sprouted-grains%E2%80%A8/>.
*** "Defining Vegan & Veganic." One Degree Organics. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2015. <https://www.onedegreeorganics.com/defining-vegan-veganic>.
****Greger, Michael, and Gene Stone. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. New York: Flatiron, 2015. Print.