In my quest for dairy-free substitutes, I decided to try lard instead of butter. Some of you may be throwing up your hands in horror, but if you’re not vegetarian, you’ll probably agree that some animal fat is okay, and even desirable, in your diet. In case you didn’t know, lard is making a comeback after years of vilification by big food corporations eager to push on us their plastic substitutes. To read up on lard, and why it’s better than margarine and vegetable oils, read this article. (I’ve used a mixture of lard and light olive oil – you could use butter or coconut oil instead of the lard if you like, but it may change the texture.)
Crunchy Gingernut Cookies
2 1/4 (400g) cups of unbleached plain spelt flour (or mixture of plain and wholemeal)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger (more if you like)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup (140 g) rapadura
100g lard (or butter or coconut oil)
80g olive oil
90g blackstrap molasses
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Place flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt and rapadura in your Thermomix bowl and mix for 10 sec/ speed 6. (or by hand).
2. Add lard, olive oil, molasses and 1 egg, mix for 30 sec/ speed 6.
3. Mixture may be slightly crumbly – check if it can be pressed together and rolled into balls. If it falls apart, add a little more oil.
4. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place on greased or lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Take a fat bottomed glass, and dip the glass in a saucer of rapadura, then press a cookie flat. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. (see picture above).
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly browned and darker on edges. Some ovens take longer than others, so check! (Swap trays around halfway through cooking so they brown evenly). Leave to cool on trays so they get nice and crisp. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. But i don’t think they’ll last long once the kids smell them… and someone else at our place was pretty keen to get a taste! (Must be all that molasses!