Friday, 12 December 2014

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Gingerbread Man/Julens småkager (The Healthier Version)



Adapted from The Healthy Chef

Makes one jar of at least 20 cookies

Ingredients:

1. 2 cups or 200g almond ground
2. 1 cup oatmeal ground into flour
3. 2 tsp cinnamon ground
4. 1/2 tsp nutmeg ground
5. 1/2 tsp star anise ground
6. 1/2 tsp clove ground
7. 1/2 tsp or 1 slice of ginger ground
8. 3 TBS olive oil or macadamia oil
9. 4 TBS honey (or maple syrup, brown rice syrup or sugar)
10. 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
11. 1 egg (optional)

Directions:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together and blend in a food process until mixed well.
2. Add olive oil, honey and egg white and blend them again into a soft dough.
3. Flatten out the dough between 2 baking paper to 3mm thick.
4. Cut into shapes with the gingerbread cutter and place on baking tray lined with baking paper.
5. Bake at 150 degree celsius for 30 minutes or at 200 degree celsius for 10 minutes.
6. Once done, let it cool at room temperature, before storing.

Variation:

If you prefer, you can just use 280g of almond (approx. 2.5 cups) and without the oatmeal. I prefer to add 1 tsp of ginger, instead of 1/2 tsp, because we like the smell of ginger. You can add more honey or syrup, if you prefer it to be sweeter.

Additional Information:

Here is another cozy Danish tradition that I never thought I would keep, but ended up keeping anyway, although not without adjusting it a Iittle.

The irony is that my Danish mother-in-law does not follow this tradition in their home. Perhaps I should follow in my mother-in-law's footsteps. Yes, you guessed it, my Mr FECS does not eat cakes, chocolates and cookies - fantastic healthy eating habits, isn't it? We are often left in a dilemma, what to do with the cakes and cookies we receive from guests? We will try to finish them as much as we can, but often don't succeed. They ended up getting too old, and we have to throw them away. Or when my mum visits us in Denmark every other year, she will eat them all up, until I stop her!!!

Lately J confided in me that all his kindergarten friends are skipping school, and why couldn't he. It pricked my heart... But ahhh... missing school, doing what? Baking Christmas cookies with their grandparents or parents. (Ok, you Singaporeans are going to wonder in horrors - parents taking their kids out of kindie to bake - where do they find the time? Won't they feel that their kids are losing out from the lessons? First of all, there is more worklife balance here which is more conducive to family life. Secondly, the kindergartens here don't teach. Schools only start to teach children numbers 1-20 from primary 1 at the age of 7 6 (after recent school reform).

J asked why doesn't he get to bake this with Farmor and Farfar. Don't get me wrong. My in-laws are wonderful people. They just don't bake cakes and cookies, like me :-) In this sense, they are very unDanish.

The "angmohs" (Singlish for westerners) have given the world many cute and delightful treasures - ice-cream, cakes, cookies... they are just not very healthy, but ahhhh.... so tempting, sigh. Sometimes I do ask God, why is it that all the cute, sweet and wonderful stuff have to be so unhealthy? Why couldn't He create humans that survive and thrive on ice-cream, cakes and cookies, rather than vegetables and fruits? No, I haven't found an answer yet.

Here is a wonderful healthier recipe that I have found from the internet by The Healthy Chef that saved the day, and helped me to hold on to this cozy Danish tradition without guilt. I adjusted a little - I increased the spice and reduced the dates. (Next time, I will reduce the oil a bit, as the cookies tasted fantastic, but a little on the oily side.)

I baked the Christmas goodies with J for the first time in my life today. So it was very sweet memory, and of course I have to snap pictures. (I have never baked cookies in my entire life, and I will never intend to bake any cake - ok, never say never. But I am quite sure, that will never happen :-)).

We thought that we had to skip swimming class, but we needn't. We prepared the dough, and went to swim class, while waiting for the dough to be ready in the fridge. When we got back from swimming, we took it out of the fridge right away and die-cut it ready for the oven. While we had our dinner, we waited for it to long bake in the oven for 30 mins - that is the beauty of baking at low temperature - you retain more nutritious value. When we finished dinner, it is just hot from the oven, ready for dessert :-)

Boy, I am amazed at my planning skill :-), but I did not manage to do many other things, of course, for example, Montessori. Just have to live with it. Oh well... my Mr FECS always says that I am over ambitious with our schedule.

And btw, one draw back, these cookies are one of the most expensive cookies you can find - because it is made of whole almonds and macadamia nut oil!!! Aaaahhh... the price to pay for healthy food. Ssssshhh... don't tell my Mr FECS the cost. Otherwise, he will send me back to work full-time to pay for it!

And btw, this recipe tasted heavenly... couldn't taste the difference between the traditional super-sweet Danish ones (oops, no offence to Danes), and J has given his thumbs up :-) I passed the test :-)

References:
https://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/11/gluten-free-gingerbread-men/
https://www.thehealthychef.com/2014/12/gingerbread-cookies/
http://www.arla.dk/opskrifter/krydrede-pebernodder/
http://www.dk-kogebogen.dk/opskrifter/visopskrift.php?id=23760
http://www.valdemarsro.dk/perfekte-pebernodder/

Grind almonds

Add cinnamon powder
Grind nutmeg





Before putting it into the oven
Done :-)
Here is a cookie I have helped mommy baked :-)

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