This healthy gingerbread cookie recipe incorporates white whole-wheat flour and uses less butter than traditional gingerbread cookies. These thin, sugar-kissed cookies are then topped with a pecan for a Southern-inspired treat. If you don’t like pecans, try other nuts, such as macadamia nuts, walnuts or hazelnuts.
4 dozen 2-inch cookies
Active Time: 1 3/4 hours |
Total Time: 2 3/4 hours
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour (see Tip)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil or corn oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup granulated sugar
48 pecan halves
Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, cloves and salt in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg and orange zest in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended.
With the mixer on low speed, then medium speed, beat about half the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until incorporated. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated. Let the dough stand for 5 minutes. It should be somewhat firm, but not at all dry. If it seems overly sticky, stir in up to 2 additional tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each quarter into a 9-inch-long “log.” Divide the log into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until very cold, about 1 hour.
Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
Place granulated sugar on a small plate. One at a time, dip the top of each ball of dough into the sugar; place, sugar-side up, about 2 1/2 inches apart on another prepared baking sheet. Coat the bottom of a wide glass with cooking spray, then dip it into the sugar. Flatten the balls with the glass to make cookies about 2 1/4 inches in diameter, dipping the glass into the sugar between cookies and spraying it as needed. Press a pecan half into the center of each cookie.
Bake the cookies on the center rack, one pan at a time, until just firm to the touch, 8 to 13 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.
Per cookie :
4 g Fat;
1 g Sat;
2 g Mono;
6 mg Cholesterol;
14 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Protein;
1 g Fiber;
26 mg Sodium;
72 mg Potassium
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1/2 fat
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for up to 1 day. Store baked cookies airtight in a for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Tip: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores and online at bobsredmill.com or kingarthurflour.com. Store it in the freezer.