It would NOT be Christmas without Gingerbread. Fact. As I (..and my family and other half) get through a ton of them, I wanted to make them with a slightly ‘healthier’ twist. So were born my Wholemeal and Spelt Gingerbread Men. If I’m being really honest, I can promise you I don’t think you can taste the difference at all.
So why wholemeal and spelt over plain flour? Spelt flour has double the amount of vitamin K than plain flour as well as being an excellent source of vitamin B2. Wholemeal flour’s fibre content is way higher than plain flour and it also generally boasts higher levels of vitamins than its processed white flour counterpart. Winning.
Ingredients for Wholemeal and Spelt Gingerbread Men
200g spelt flour (+ a little extra for dusting)
120g wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground ginger
120g unsalted butter (room temperature)
150g dark muscovado sugar
45g golden syrup
1 medium egg
(I used silver sugar balls and thin ribbon to decorate)
rolling pin, 2/3 baking sheets lined with parchment (baking) paper, gingerbread man cookie cutter.
Some fridge space for chilling the cookies.
makes about 35 2 1/2″ Gingerbread Men
1) In a medium bowl mix together the spelt flour, wholemeal flour, bi carb, cinnamon and ginger with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly dispersed. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until a little lighter in colour, then add the egg and golden syrup and whisk again.
3) Add half the flour to the butter bowl and stir lightly with a wooden spoon. Repeat with the remaining half of the flour. Once it has just about come together get your (clean) hands in there to bring it all together until it forms into a ball. Wrap it in some cling film and pop the dough in the fridge for about an hour.
4) Scatter some spelt flour onto a clean surface and your rolling pin and take the dough out of the fridge. Roll the dough out until about 1cm thick. You can cut the dough ball in 2 if you don’t have much space (and it’s a little easier to handle!) 1cm thickness will give these a lovely snap when baked. If you like a thicker cookie, roll to about 2cm.
5) Dip your cookie cutter in a little flour (either is fine, it’s so the dough doesn’t stick to the cutter) and cut out some gingerbread men shapes. Place them onto your baking sheet, they can be quite close together as these shouldn’t spread. Re dip the cutter into the flour as you go. Once you have used up all the dough, place the men back in the fridge to chill for another hour (this will help them keep their shape)
6) Pre heat your oven to 180oC.
7) Take the men out of the fridge and pop in the oven for 12-14mins. Once they have baked and while they are still a little soft, carefully and gently press the little silver balls into the chest of the men. It’ll dent them and therefore keep the ‘buttons’ in place. Once they have cooled turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When they are cold, use a little ribbon to tie round their necks as mini scarves.
There you have it little gorgeous Wholemeal and Spelt Gingerbread Men!