Gingerbread Cookies

What are the holidays without gingerbread?  We make gingerbread cookies, craft gingerbread houses, and drink ginger teas.  Kirby stays underfoot and drools over the aromas while we bake so I knew I needed to dogify a gingerbread man cookie for him.

Ginger is such a good spice for a dog's health.  It's an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory used to treat digestive upset, nausea, gas, motion sickness, heart problems, joint inflammation due to arthritic conditions, to reduce fever, and is also effective as an anti-infective, especially against viruses. It can decrease blood sugar levels, and increase absorption of all oral medications. Too much ginger may cause nausea, especially when given on an empty stomach, and can affect how well blood clots. Do not give to a dog with a gastric ulcer or pregnant dogs.

These treats are high in sugar but very low in saturated fats and sodium. The 5.5 grams of sugar in each treat comes from maple syrup and blackstrap molasses which provide healthy benefits for your dog.   Just remember to feed sparingly. 

Molasses (Blackstrap) is rich in B vitamins and minerals as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It is a natural sweetener.

Maple syrup (pure) is a natural sweetener with over 54 antioxidants that can help delay or prevent diseases caused by free radicals such as cancer or diabetes. It is an excellent source of manganese which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses and is necessary for normal brain and nerve function.  It provides riboflavin which aids in the metabolic process and zinc which is essential for a healthy immune system. Other minerals found in maple syrup are calcium and potassium which decreases the risk of hypertension or stroke. The calories in maple syrup are lower than in corn syrup and honey averaging about 50 calories per tablespoon. Maple syrup is used to treat hypoglycemia in Yorkies and there are even studies using maple syrup to fight cancer in dogs.

 Gingerbread Cookies for Dogs

Gingerbread Cookies

A good holiday treat

Yields: 22 – 3 inch treats
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Nutrition facts:
92 calories each, 4 calories from fat each
Total fat: 0.4g or1% (0.0g saturated fat, 0.0g trans fat)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and set aside. In another large bowl mix the wet ingredients.
  2. Add the flour mixture one cup at a time beating until just combined after each addition.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. If you’re in a hurry you can roll the dough ¼-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper and stack on a baking sheet. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes until firm.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it become pliable again. Roll out about ¼” thick, cut out shapes, and place on a lined baking sheet. To avoid streaks of flour, roll out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or wax paper.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes until they are slightly darkened and firm in the center when pressed with a finger. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes then remove to a baker’s rack.

Once they are completely cooled, feel free to decorate with dog safe frostings such as Fido's Frosting or my frosting recipes.  For smaller treats be sure to adjust the baking time.

These will keep for a week in an airtight container on the counter, several weeks in the refrigerator, and up to four months in the freezer.