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Healthier Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookies

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These healthier soft gingerbread cookies are sweet, soft, and lightly spiced. They will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!

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These healthier soft gingerbread cookies are sweet, soft, and lightly spiced. They will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!

This past weekend I found myself with a strong desire to bake, so I thought it would be nice to start a new tradition with my daughters… baking while watching Christmas movies on Netflix!  We were quite the sight in the kitchen with my daughter’s iPad playing “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” while we scattered flour everywhere to make healthier soft baked gingerbread cookies…thank goodness for her Survivor case!

As the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, the girls and I discussed what the real meaning of Christmas was while we mixed, rolled, floured and cut out gingerbread men.  We all agreed that doing exactly what we were doing: baking together, and spending time together was what Christmas was all about. 

Healthier Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

We decided that we should try to make our cookies healthIER.  Cookies are a treat but with some adjustments they don’t have to be completely void of nutrition.  We substituted almond butter instead of butter in our recipe because for a cookie recipe to work, you need some fat in it.  By using almond butter we had a healthier fat.  Then to make the cookies stay moist, we added apple sauce.  For the flour we replaced 1/4 of the flour with whole wheat flour.  

The results were AMAZING!!! 

Healthier soft baked gingerbread cookies

After we made our cookies and allowed them to cool, we cuddled up with our cookies and a glass of milk each to watch another holiday favourite of ours on Netflix: “Christmas with the Kranks”.  

 Healthier soft baked gingerbread cookie recipe

Healthier soft baked gingerbread cookie recipe

While we love Christmas with the Kranks, I must admit that we had quite a time (and quite the discussion) over what to watch – there are so many holiday movies on Netflix this month:

  • Casper’s Haunted Christmas
  • Cat in the Hat Knows a lot About Christmas
  • Happy Holidays from Madagascar
  • My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas
  • Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
  • The Swan Princess Christmas
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
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To name a few 🙂

And of course, here’s the recipe:

Here's a great recipe for Healthier Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookies
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Healthier Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookies
These healthier soft gingerbread cookies are sweet, soft, and lightly spiced. They will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!
Servings: 24
Author: Janice @ Salads4Lunch
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • handful of turbinado sugar for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, add the egg, brown sugar, molasses, almond butter, melted butter, applesauce and vanilla extract; whisk vigorously to thoroughly combine.
  2. Add ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, all purpose four, and wheat flour to the wet ingredients and mix with mixer until well combined. Turn out onto plastic wrap and form into a rough ball; cover with plastic and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Flour a flat surface and a rolling pin with lots of flour (as the almond butter makes the dough very sticky), then roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out gingerbread men, about 25-35 total. Place gingerbread men on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes, until puffed and slightly firmed. Let rest on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Store covered at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer term storage.

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What’s your favourite Christmas movie? 

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These healthier soft gingerbread cookies are sweet, soft, and lightly spiced. They will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!

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38 Comments

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  • Reply
    Kaila @healthyhelperblog!
    December 21, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Thank you so much for linking to my White Chocolate PB Bites, lovely!! These cookies look SO GOOD. I love soft baked gingerbread cookies! Usually I am a crunchy girl…but when it comes to gingerbread? SOFT and doughy allllll the way!!! Nice job!

    • Reply
      Janice
      December 21, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      No problem- I ate WAAAAY too many of them, they were so good!

  • Reply
    DJ
    December 21, 2015 at 9:01 am

    We always love watching Rudolph every year.

    • Reply
      Janice
      December 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Great movie, Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
    December 21, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Those gingerbread cookies sound amazing! I watched Home Alone 2 yesterday. One of my favourite Christmas movies.

    • Reply
      Janice
      December 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Great movie! I introduced the girls to that series too. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    miranda
    December 21, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Yum love the sugar on top adds extra festive cheer to them

    • Reply
      Janice
      December 21, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Miranda 🙂

  • Reply
    Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard
    December 21, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    we are going to watch Elf

    • Reply
      Janice
      December 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      I ?????? love that movie!!

  • Reply
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
    December 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Yum I love love gingerbread cookies and love how you made these healthier. You can link them up to Meatless Monday if you’d like.

  • Reply
    rachel
    December 21, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Love this. Your gingerbread cookies look so good! I will have to try it!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus
    December 21, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Love Actually is on my must watch list this week! Hopefully I can enjoy it over some off these delicious cookies! Thanks for including my cookies in your round up 🙂

    • Reply
      Janice
      December 21, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      No problem, enjoy the movie & have a very Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Kaila @healthyhelperblog!
    December 21, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Okay, how did I not notice you linked to SEVERAL of my recipes!? SO THANK YOU x 3!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jonnie
    December 22, 2015 at 1:37 am

    We will be watching The Grinch and Santa Paws

  • Reply
    Jenn
    December 22, 2015 at 2:33 am

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a must watch for us!

  • Reply
    Rebecca B
    December 22, 2015 at 8:30 am

    My favorite Christmas movie from when I was a kid was the “He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special” lol! Now I would probably say it’s a tie between “Love Actually” and a “Christmas Story.” Happy holidays!

    • Reply
      Janice
      December 22, 2015 at 8:41 am

      You’ll shoot your eye out! LOL- Best.Movie.EVER!!!

  • Reply
    Amy Heffernan
    December 22, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Would love to watch ELf with my kids. Thanks!

  • Reply
    ann w
    December 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Will be watching Elf

    • Reply
      Florence C
      December 22, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      We are planning on watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

  • Reply
    Pam
    December 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I would like to watch Christmas with the Kranks

  • Reply
    Wendy hutton
    December 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    we plan on watching Christmas with the Kranks

  • Reply
    Jenness M
    December 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    We plan to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

  • Reply
    Lucie Palka
    December 22, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I love the old classic movies we used to watch as kids, Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation etc.

  • Reply
    Suzi
    December 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    I’m going to see and if Love Actually is on I’m going to watch it for sure!

  • Reply
    Elle
    December 23, 2015 at 2:49 am

    I think I’m going to watch How to Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s a tradition for me, and one of my favourites!

    I also have never thought of putting almond butter in a gingerbread cookie recipe. It turned out looking great though! I am always excited to try recipes that are healthier and protein-rich. Especially now that the holidays are around, it’s nice to have something healthy in the mix! I’ve received quite a lot of sugar and butter heavy cookies this year.

  • Reply
    Carol M
    December 24, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Elf will be one of them

  • Reply
    Karla Sceviour
    December 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    we plan on watching the Home Alone movies!

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    December 26, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    I can’t wait to watch ELF again with the kids 🙂

  • Reply
    Tammy Dalley
    December 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I plan to watch Home alone!

  • Reply
    Chris Stockford
    December 26, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

  • Reply
    Brenda Penton
    December 27, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    I plan to watch Christmas with the Kranks

  • Reply
    Elaine G
    December 27, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I watched Christmas with the Kranks and A Christmas Story (which is also my favorite holiday film)

  • Reply
    ivy pluchinsky
    December 27, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    I want to watch how the grinch stole christmas

  • Reply
    naiddia p
    December 29, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I want to watch Christmas with the Kranks.

  • Reply
    Coco
    December 8, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I love gingerbread cookies! I never would have thought to add almond butter – yum!

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