Gingerbread is to me an an inevitable part of Christmas. While the majority of people is content with a few gingerbread men or women, others are committed to making extravagant houses, churches and castles from the same dough. Unfortunately, these traditional treats usually contain eggs. I imagine it is to make the dough ductile – I have found a few egg-free gingerbread recipes, but they are often too fragile to roll out.
Luckily, there are some recipes that replace the eggs with treacle and cream – and it works like magic. The dough is made in no time, is easy to work with and doesn’t crack. The recipe I used is adapted from the cookbook “Kokebok for alle – fra boller til burritos“. This book is given to all 9th graders in Norway as a part of the subject “mat og helse” (“food and health”), which aims at educating children in nutrition, both theoretically and practically. That being said, the cookies are by no means healthier than the ordinary gingerbread cookies.
NB: The dough should be made the day before baking the cookies.
For at least 100 cookies:
150 g butter or margarine (room-tempered)
1 1/2 dl sugar, white or brown
1 1/2 dl treacle
1 1/2 dl cream
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground clove
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 dl flour
Cut the butter into small dices and stir it together with the sugar until creamy. Add treacle and cream to the mixture. Sift in 9 dl of the flour and all spices and baking soda. Mix well. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. When the dough is smooth and even, cover it with cling film, and put it in the fridge overnight.
Set the oven to 180℃.
Roll out the dough on a dusted surface – this is important, as the dough will stick to the surface when it is rolled out. Roll out the dough according to size of the cookies – small gingerbread men and women should be thin – around 3 mm thick. Large hearts or walls for a gingerbread house, require thicker dough. Cut out figures from the dough and gently place them on a covered baking tray. Put the tray in the middle of the oven and let the cookies bake for 6-8 minutes, or until they start looking golden.
Note: Wikihow has a similar recipe for egg-free gingerbreads with an instructional video showing each step in the process.