Carob Gingerbread Stars
It’s almost Christmas time! It’s dark outside early, candles get lit, there’s hundreds of Christmas trees along the road, and we all cuddle up with loved ones inside.
Although all the above normally gives me Christmas feelings instantly, this year it did not really work. I was so busy that I could only see these things, and not really experience them. But walking into the garden centre last week, which was filled with Christmas trees, the smell made me long for what I was missing. I wanted that tree in my house, candles lit, cosiness, warmth, and something in the oven that would make the room smell like Christmas. There’s still no tree, but the cookies are here.
These carob gingerbread stars are the ultimate Christmas cookie. They are your favourite traditional cookie; spiced, warm, slightly crispy on the sides and soft in the middle, but with that special hint of carob - or "like chocolate" as many seem to refer to it. Carob adds another layer of flavour - deep and chocolatey. It combines perfectly with the cinnamon, ginger and cloves and together with the coconut oil and cane sugar they make the most delicious, a little better for you, Christmas cookie.
Carob Gingerbread Stars
Makes 20-25 stars
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered cane sugar
1/4 cup flavourless coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup carob molasses*
2-3 tbs almond milk
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1,5 tsp vanilla paste
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon, extra to marble the cookies
*or 1/4 cup molasses + 15gr carob chunks to infuse
6 tbs powdered cane sugar
1-2 tsp almond milk
1/8 tsp vanilla paste
1. In a big bowl, combine cane sugar, molasses and coconut oil. Whisk until smooth. (If using regular molasses, heat this up in a sauce pan, add the carob chunks, bring to a very low simmer and let infuse for up to 3 hours. Take the carob pieces out and add the molasses to the mixture).
2. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, vanilla, salt and baking soda and mix until smooth again.
3. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, first stirring with a wooden spoon and later using your hands to incorporate everything. Knead until smooth.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 4 hours, up to overnight.
5. Take the dough out of the fridge 20 minutes before you want to work with it, let it come to room temperature.
6. Add final 1 tsp of cinnamon and lightly knead through, for a marbled effect.
7. Divide dough in three, roll each out to 0.5 cm thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut stars (or any other shape) and place the cookies on a lined baking tray. Repeat.
8. Freeze cookies for 20 minutes.
9. Preheat oven to 160C and bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
10. Transfer to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
11. (Optional) To decorate, mix powdered cane sugar, almond milk and vanilla paste. Using a toothpick, give some stars outlines, fill some in, and leave some as they are. Let these harden for an hour before serving.