Molasses style cookies are a favorite around here anytime of the year! Gingerbread man cookies are festive, cute and have a lot of character, but they are also a lot of work!! I decided to take that flavor and do a simple cookie ball with all the flavor and half of the work! This gingerbread recipe calls for a unique flour...chestnut flour. What is chestnut flour??! Chestnut flour is a gluten free alternative to regular flour made from ground chestnuts. Chestnuts have been dried and made into sweet flavored flour in Italy for centuries. In Tuscany, chestnut flour is considered a staple food, and it is commonly called for in recipes such as: chestnut flour bread, pie crust, crepes, and other baked goods. Its sweet flavor makes it the perfect fit for recipes involving almonds, chocolate, honey and hazelnuts. I have found it to be awesome in fall recipes that incorporate pumpkin and spice. Chestnuts do not contain the fat content regular nuts have, and are instead largely composed of carbohydrates. Chestnut flour does have less carbohydrates than regular white flour but has many of the same baking properties as flour. It creates a fluffier baked good, has a distinct taste that has a bit of spiciness to it and pairs really well with warm fall flavors, especially ginger! I love using almond flour and am not afraid of fat by any means. I'm just enjoying how much fun this flour is to work with, and not to mention how good it is!
Is it actually a nut or a fruit? According to Wikipedia, it’s a fruit. If you have tree nut allergies, please look into this more, but my understanding is that it’s not a nut!!! Where can you buy chestnut flour? Check with your local natural grocery stores, I do know some Natural Grocers are selling it. You can also order it from Amazon or from nuts.com. I realize it's a unique ingredient, but I promise you will enjoy it. I have some other recipes including these crunchy Ginger Snaps or this Pumpkin Bread you could also try. I also provided a substitution for the flour in the recipe "variations" section of this cookie recipe for those of you that don't want to order it. Both versions of the cookies are great, I just think the chestnut flour adds a bit more flavor.
Gingerbread Cookie Bites
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour (I prefer Honeyville)
- 1/4 cup chestnut flour* (see substitution below)
- 3-4 tbsp granulated sweetener such as coconut palm sugar (I usedSwerve for a no sugar option)
- 3 tbsp grass-fed butter, softened(ghee or coconut oil should work)
- 1 1/2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Place the almond flour, chestnut flour (or arrowroot), sweetener, butter and spices and salt in a food processor and combine
- Add in the molasses and vanilla and pulse until dough forms into a big ball
- Place the dough in the refrigerator forat least 30 minutes to keep the cookies from spreading as they cook
- Roll the dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet
- Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack. Cookies will get crisp as they cool
- Store in an airtight container. Place in the refrigerator if you prefer a hard cookie
*You can sub the chestnut flour for arrowroot flour, but only use 2 tbsp of arrowroot, NOT 1/4 cup! These may spread a tiny bit more, but are still delicious!!!
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