Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In The Mood for Ginger...

I love gingerbread cookies.... I didn't use to, but after finding this recipe from Our Best Bites I am addicted! In my mind, this is a seasonal cookie... so I generally only make them during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.  Since we have radically changed the ingredients we cook with during the past year, I was excited to alter the recipe and give it a shot using "healthier" ingredients.  The result????  AMAZING! And even better than the original recipe!!!!

While I am completely in the "ginger" mode, I thought that gingerbread granola sounded fun and yummy... so I thought I'd give it a try last night. However, I was planning on using my "normal" granola recipe as the backbone for gingerbread granola and I couldn't find a recipe that was similar. I didn't look too hard, (so I'm not saying that there wasn't a comparable one out there) but I went ahead and made up my own concoction. It also turned out to be amazing!!!  The recipe below shows what I did originally, but next time I will probably just do 2 cups of honey and 1 whole cup of molasses.

So in case you might be in the mood for some gingerbread recipes.... here is what I did:
Gingerbread granola... it might last us a couple of days...

Homemade yogurt with gingerbread granola and Ginger spice cookies!

Ginger Spice Cookies - (adapted from Our Best Bites)
3/4 C real butter or palm oil shortening
1 C sucanat (plus extra for rolling the cookies in)
1 large egg
1/4 C molasses
2 C fresh milled whole wheat flour
2 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 Combine butter and sucanat and cream until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and the molasses and beat until well mixed. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls by hand and roll in sugar.(The kids love this part).
Place on cookie sheets.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set around the edges and you start to see “crackling” on the top.
Don’t overbake! They will be soft and chewy in the middle!!!!
Yield: about 4 dozen

Gingerbread Granola -
Keep in mind that we have lots of hungry kids at our house... so the following recipe is actually tripled. If you're family is not as hungry as we are, you can adjust it accordingly... :) Preheat oven to 300 degrees and place baking rack in TOP position.

12 cups rolled oats
3 cups unsweetened coconut
3 cups dried cranberries
3 cups dried apples (optional... I added some that I had dehydrated this summer because I thought  
                                they would add a nice touch...)
2-3 cups mixed nuts of your liking... (I threw in some organic trail mix I had on hand)
3 t ground ginger
1 t cloves
1/2 cup flax (optional)
3 t cinnamon

Mix above ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a saucepan melt together:
3 cups coconut oil
2 1/4 cups honey
1/2 cup molasses

Pour oil/honey/molasses mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. Dump granola onto a PARCHMENT lined pan. Spread out evenly and bake at 300 for 20 minutes. Stir after 20 minutes and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool before storing in an airtight container. You can eat it dry, with milk, with yogurt, or make it into granola bars!

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