Christmas just isn’t Christmas without gingerbread people hanging around the holiday table! You going to love Gingerbread with Chai Icing.
Gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday flavors. Although I haven’t been brave enough to attempt a whole gingerbread cake or loaf, I always make sure I have some gingerbread cookies lying around at Christmas. I love their spicy-sweet flavor and the incredible smell as they bake away in the oven. For me, the holidays start as soon as I smell that familiar smell.
The issue I have with store-bought gingerbread (be that cookies, houses, etc.) is that they’re always chock full of sugar and slathered in a sickly sweet royal icing that overpowers the spiciness of the gingerbread. They’re often also decked out in candy-coated chocolates and artificially dyed jelly beans or jujubes. Not exactly natural, and definitely not what we’re going for on this blog.
I wanted to create a gingerbread cookie recipe that used natural ingredients, resulted in my version of the perfect cookie (crisp exterior, chewy interior) and were decorated with an icing that wasn’t overly sweet. I wanted a recipe I could turn to year after year and know that it was good and good for me. I truly think I’ve accomplished my mission with these gingerbread people. (<– people, because we’re PC here!)
Most gingerbread men recipes involve a heap of castor sugar and brown sugar to achieve that classic crisp/chewy combination. I don’t think you need either of those. To get that crispy exterior, raw cane sugar does the trick while a combination of molasses and a bit of maple syrup keep the interiors chewy. Because this dough is a little wetter than other gingerbread doughs, it does need the double chilling in order for the people to keep their shapes. A small price to pay for delicious holiday cookies!
To make sure the icing wasn’t too sweet, and to complement the flavors of the gingerbread, I added some chai spices to the traditional royal icing. It works so well with the gingerbread! I left out the artificially colored candy completely because we don’t need it when we can make cute bow-ties and skirts out of the icing!
I hope you enjoy my twist on these traditional Christmas cookies and add them to your holiday baking list for many years to come. If you make my Classic Gingerbread People with Chai Icing, be sure to take a photo and tag me @cinnamonscribe on Instagram or Twitter. I would love nothing more than to see your creations!
If you make my Gingerbread with Chai Icing recipe, be sure to take a photo and tag me @onlinefoodblog on Instagram or Twitter. I would love nothing more than to see your creations!
Cookies Ingredients 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour Icing Ingredients 1 egg white Try out our Gingerbread with Chai Icing recipe and post your results below in the comments…
How do you make Gingerbread with Chai Icing
1½ cups whole wheat (wholemeal) flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup raw cane sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup molasses
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp + 2 tsp almond milk (or cow’s milk)
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground black pepper
3½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg white
Try out our Gingerbread with Chai Icing recipe and post your results below in the comments…