For many, black licorice is not a flavour that even makes their top 100 favourites let alone top 10. Personally, I love it. Particularly the dark, rich licorice flavor of blackstrap molasses – an ingredient that tends to only sneak into baking projects everywhere this festive time of year, including my absolute favourite – Ginger Molasses Cookies!
Many may not know that molasses comes in two different varieties – fancy and black strap – which are not created equally. The fancy kind my seem more appealing because it’s, well, fancy – and who doesn’t want a fancier version of anything? But it’s less common cousin, black strap, packs a way bigger nutrient punch in the form of a better mineral profile – namely iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium – all of which have important roles in the body from energy production to immune function. PLUS B6 and magnesium play a key role in combatting stress and anxiety, something we can all use a little help with during the chaos that is the holiday season (including post-ginger molasses cookie binge….how did I eat that whole plate?!!).
So it will come as no shock to you that my version of the classic ginger molasses cookie features the less “fancy” but nutritionally richer black strap version; while also boasting the other benefits you’ve come to know and love about my goods, including being gluten-free, refined sugar-free and (optionally) dairy-free. Santa Claus – eat your heart out!
The Natural Blonde
P.s. As much as I preach clean eating as much as possible, there are some treats that just cannot be cleaned up (eg. Scottish shortbread – don’t even consider making them without butter and sugar!), so as the holidays approach accept that sometimes you just need to eat something “unclean” – and ain’t no shame in that!
Classic Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used 1 cup oat and 1 cup Minimalist Baker’s gluten-free flour blend)
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup grass-fed butter at room temp (or coconut oil or vegan butter such as Earth Balance)*
- 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses (can also use fancy molasses if blackstrap isn’t available)
- 1 egg
- Optional: raw sugar or xylitol for sprinkling
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients (except for the raw sugar/xylitol if using) using an electric mixer until creamy. Add in the dry mix and stir just until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours (do NOT skip this step or your cookies will be pancakes!).
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
Roll the dough into 1.5” balls and flatten them a little with the palm of your hand, and bake for 6-9 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
*If using coconut oil make sure to chill the dough for at least 2 hours or you will end up with pancake cookies. Honestly, butter works best.