Bells are echoing a cheerful vibration on a twinkling rainbow lit street. While the hustle and bustle of Christmas season is electrifying, the energy can also be exhausting. On my mind, as I try to keep steady in a field of flurry, are ginger molasses cookies. And a cuppa tea. A simple, milk-less chai, preferably with a floral scent. One so aromatic that it leads me onto a wandering path in a perfectly manicured English garden. Where I bite into my cookie and begin to sway in the frigid air to the spicy ginger beats.
Unlike season’s past, where I’ve opted for a purely ginger and molasses cookie, this year I decided to play with the recipe. Always one for experimentation, exploration—when the temperature drops and my legs don’t have far to go, I leap into the kitchen. Turning to my buzzing hands that want to move and create.
Pondering on all the spices I love and the cold season, I merged many life influences to make these eggless cookies. Starting with a recipe passed on to me by an old friend raised in a holiday cookie tradition. Mixed together with spices I like to use for my winter chai masala. All while being mindful of Ayurveda’s wisdom on food combining, the seasons, and the alchemy to spice blends. This year, I also made a concerted effort to opt for spelt flour, an ancient grain with less gluten than today’s wheat. And although I have no qualms with cooking with sugarcane sweeteners like gur aka jaggery, raw sugar, panela or succanet, I used pure date molasses. Like blackstrap molasses, it adds a rich, wintery, warming flavor and brings forth that beautiful spiced cookie color. Happy Eating. Happy Digesting.
AYURVEDA + GINGER + CINAMON + CLOVES + NUTMEG + CARDAMOM + FENNEL
Spice-based cookies bring the elements of fire and air to a primarily heavy and earthy food. A sprinkle of digestive aids adds a little lightness. Making cookies not only easier to digest but to absorb and assimilate the nutrients from the date molasses, spelt, ghee and oats. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as all the taste testers.
GINGER | a heating spice, liquifies mucus, aids digestion, cleansing
CINNAMON | a sweet, fragrant spice, regulates blood sugar levels
CLOVES | a heating carminative that also promotes circulation and supports metabolism
NUTMEG | a sedative, calming, warming spice to relax the nerves
CARDAMOM | a fragrant, cooling mucus fighter and decongestant
FENNEL | a cooling, carminative, prevents bloating and flatulence
Chai Masala & Date Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp clove, nutmeg, himalayan or sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup crystalized ginger small pieces
- 2/3 cup ghee or coconut oil not melted
- 1/2 cup date molasses or succanet or panela
- 1 tbsp black strap molasses
- 2 tbsp grated ginger fresh
- 1 1/2 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp fennel
Pre-heat oven to 350F
In a medium size bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk. Set aside
In another bowl, with the whisk attachment on an immersion hand-blender or hand-mixer blend ghee, date, and regular molasses. Make sure the ghee or coconut oil are solid. While whisking the color will begin to shift from black coffee to a creamy latte color. It takes about 2 minutes for the color to shift and for the mixture to be light and "fluffy". Then mix in the freshly grated ginger before mixing the wet and dry mixtures together.
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry mixture, until you have cookie dough. If the mixture is too soft, meaning when you roll it, it is completely mushy and does not form, place it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to let it slightly harden. Since this does not have refined cane sugar, if the dough is too hard it will prevent the cookie from spreading. The dough needs soft but not melty.
Make golf ball size balls. The ball does not have to be perfectly round or rolled tightly. This allows for the cracks on top and also helps the cookie spread. Then roll the ball into the raw sugar, fennel, and sesame mixture. Place on cookie sheet. For a flatter, less cakey cookie, press down slightly or if you feel your dough is to firm.
Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie and desired texture. If you want a harder cookie, bake for longer, be careful the cookie does not burn on the bottom. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven.
- for this recipe, we used a brand called Mid-East date molasses, but there are several on the market if you cannot find this brand. It is not as thick as blackstrap molasses.
- we tested this recipe with date sugar, and since it does not melt we found succanet, panela or raw sugar to be a better substitute.
- if your dough gets to hard in the freezer, set it aside to soften, or as you roll into the ball, let it warm up with your hand. You can also slightly flatten the ball when on the cookie sheet to help it spread.
- the quantity of spices is based on using spelt flour