It’s that time of year again – my favourite time – Christmas! Growing up my family had a tradition (they still do it every year, but I haven’t been able to join in lately) of getting together with a few other families for a day of gingerbread making. Everyone would bring a ready dough, tons of cookie cutters and some decorations – as well as detailed architectural plans and ambitions for their gingerbread house. Through the years we’ve built stave churches, Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin, Pirate Ships, the Moomin residence, copies of our own houses and windmills, Christmas trees and Hansel and Gretel’s sweet-covered cottage, etc. You name it, we’ve attempted to build it.
I loved this tradition dearly but every year, without fail, I’d end up with a stomach ache. I think I speak for every child out there when I say that gingerbread dough is far better than the actual cooked biscuit. Not to mention is the dough readily available – no prep required. However, it has an unfortunates side effect of leaving you feeling sick and sluggish.
Enter my gingerbread snowballs. They have all the flavour of gingerbread dough, none of the refined sugar, none of the gluten and none of the stomach-ache inducing properties. Just delicious, good for you fruits, nuts, oats and spices. And that’s it. Takes 10 mins to make – 3 if you have a food processor (I don’t).
makes approx. 18, 1.5 cm Ø.
125 g soft dates, pitted and finely chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
scant tsp ground clove
1 tbsp. honey (or more if you want it sweeter)
pinch of sea salt
1 dl (35g) oat flour
0.5 dl ground almonds – I like mine roasted first for extra flavour
1-2 tbsp. coconut flour (or more oat flour)
2 tbsp coconut flour + 2 tsp cinnamon to roll the snowballs in.
Method: If you have a food processor, chuck the oats and the almonds in and gring until it forms a fine flour. Add the spices, add the dates and pulse until a sticky dough forms.
If you don’t have a food processor, chop the dates finely and put in a saucepan with about 1 dl water. Simmer and stir/squash the dates until a sticky paste forms, try to get it as smooth as possible. Add the spices and the honey and stir well. Grind your oats and your almonds and add to the saucepan, stir well until a thick, slightly sticky dough forms. Add coconut flour or more oat flour if you think the dough is a little sticky. Use a teaspoon and roll small even balls of the mixture, then roll in a mixture of cinnamon and coconut flour.
If you don’t have coconut flour to roll them in you can also use icing sugar – or instead of rolling them, put the ‘naked’ balls (won’t be snowballs without the white coat) in tiny cupcake liners to avoid them sticking together.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps well for at least 2 weeks.
Enjoy! I’ve already made these 3 times the last few weeks – defo a new favourite. Let me know how you go.