A soft and chewy holiday cookie for anyone interested in a little less sugar: Low Sugar Gingerbread ~ by Serena Ball, MS,RD
Disclosure: Cumberland Packing Corp. compensated The Recipe ReDux (co-owned by ReganMillerJones, Inc. and Teaspoon Communications), to sponsor this recipe contest. We are therefore not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
My girls are going Christmas caroling on Friday and I thought it would be nice to send along a few sweet treats for them to deliver to the folks at the retirement community where they are singing. In the past, the folks have told them, “Oh I can’t eat those cookies because I can’t have sugar.”
To my kids, that sounded especially dreadful! Visions of no Christmas treats danced through their sad heads.
So this year, we thought we’d bake up some Low Sugar Molasses Gingerbread Cookies so our friends could enjoy them without having to worry quite as much about a huge blood sugar spike. This was perfect timing with a challenge to The Recipe ReDux from the folks at In the Raw to come up with a holiday baked good or adapt a favorite holiday recipe using their new Monk Fruit in the Raw Baker’s Bag. To lower the sugar, we replaced some of it with Monk Fruit in the Raw zero-calorie sweetener and used lower-sugar decorating toppings like sprinkles, peanuts and dark chocolate chips (and fewer toppings overall.)
Deanna gave the nutrition specs on the natural Monk Fruit In The Raw sweetener in her recent post for Holiday Pistachio Cherry Biscotti. (She really is the Biscotti QUEEN…I been lucky enough to taste a variety of her cookies!)
Here are a few more tips for making cookies with Monk Fruit in the Raw:
Use molasses to add extra moisture– It’s recommended that extra dried fruits be added to keep Monk Fruit in the Raw baked goods moist; using molasses adds moisture and density. These cookies turned out soft and chewy with a little lighter texture than usual. Molasses also keeps baked goods moist for a few days after baking; these cookies would have dried out quickly without the molasses. I was still able to decrease the amount of molasses from the original recipe.
Don’t replace more than ¼ of the original powdered sugar in the icing with the zero-calorie sweetener; the volume will decrease into a gluey mess. (Yup, I have experience with this!)
The icing will be gritty at first, but after about an hour, the sweetener crystals will dissolve into the liquid. My kids didn’t have patience to wait for a whole HOUR before decorating, so they mentioned the icing tasted “sandy.” But after about an hour, we discovered the formerly ‘sandy’ icing was no longer gritty on the cookies or leftover in the bowl.
Don’t add too much vanilla, or the icing will be brown. Because the sweetener has less volume than powdered sugar, the frosting takes on the color of the vanilla.Print
Low Sugar Gingerbread Cookies
A soft and chewy holiday cookie for anyone interested in a little less sugar: Low Sugar Gingerbread
- Yield: About 2 dozen cookies depending on size of cookie cutters 1x
- 1/2 cup shortening (could also use coconut oil, although I didn’t try it here)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup Monk Fruit in the Raw from Baker’s Bag
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Monk Fruit in the Raw Baker’s Bag sweetener
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, beat together shortening and sugar with electric mixer. Add Monk Fruit in the Raw, baking powder, soda and spices; beat till combined. Beat in molasses, egg, and vinegar till combined. Beat in as much of the flour as possible with the mixer, stir in remaining flour.
- Divide dough in half and chill for 3 hours.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out half dough into 1/4-inch thick. Using cookie cutters dipped in flour, cut out shapes. Roll out remaining dough and chill scraps of first dough; repeat till dough is gone.
- Place on greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 6 minutes; cookies will be dry but still very soft. Cool on sheet 1 minute. They will harden but still be slightly soft when cooled. Don’t overbake!
- For icing, stir together sweetener and sugar with a fork. Stir in milk until combined. Gradually stir in vanilla a few drops at a time; if frosting begins to darken, stop adding vanilla.
- Drizzle over cookies!
Original Gingerbread Cookie (with icing, without toppings) – 157 calories per 4-inch cookie
Gingerbread Cookie using Monk Fruit In the Raw: 124 calories per cookie
The baking ‘season’ has begun, what is the ONE holiday treat you bake/make every year?