It’s December! That means it’s time to start rolling out the Christmas-inspired recipes. Yippee!
Gingerbread cookies are interesting. What really is the difference between gingerbread cookies and ginger molasses cookies? Can anyone answer this for me? They taste the same to me. Is it just the fact that gingerbread cookies are flat and snappy, while ginger molasses cookies tend to be puffier and softer? Yes? No? Maybe? And where do gingersnaps fit in this category? They all taste the same, am I right?!
Anyway, I feel like “gingersnaps” and “ginger molasses” cookies are enjoyed year round, but gingerbread cookies (particularly gingerbread man cookies) are specifically associated with the holiday season. I think it has to do with the hearty earthiness of the gingerbread flavor. We seem to like those flavors more during the winter months than the summer months.
Am I crazy? Does all of this sound made up? I just don’t know.
None of that really matters when it comes to this recipe. The fact of the matter is, gingerbread/gingersnaps/ginger molasses combines beautifully with cream cheese. And yes, vegans, you too can enjoy this. I used Tofutti.
As with my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Baked Oatmeal, there are two ways to make this:
First, you can do what I did and make [the oatmeal batter] and then drop in dollops of cream cheese. Alternatively, you can follow the approach I used in the Berry Cream Cheese Baked Oatmeal, in which I whisked the cream cheese into the wet ingredients, distributing the cream cheese throughout.
Once again, in the recipe instructions below, I only listed the first method.
Note that the spice proportions listed in the recipe are for a mild gingerbread flavor. Feel free to add more if you like a more robust, spicy flavor.
Although I’ve used banana as the base for my gingerbread recipes in the past, this time I tried using pumpkin puree because I had a can of it open and I needed to use it up. I found that the pumpkin flavor was detectable and I did end up adding additional spices. However, I know that some people are less tolerant of spices and prefer a milder flavor.
- [tunes] My favorite holiday station on Pandora is “Vince Guaraldi Trio (Holiday) Radio.” You’re welcome. (I normally use Spotify, but I like Pandora for my holiday music.)
- [videos] Okay, if you really want to set the mood, listen to the above Pandora station while playing this video of a crackling fireplace.
- [eats] …and then make this hot chocolate (I thicken mine with brown rice flour instead of cornstarch, and I use maple syrup instead of sugar).
What you'll need:
- 1/2 cup regular rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/4 cup fruit/veggie puree see notes below (I used pumpkin puree)
- 1/2 tsp molasses (I used Blackstrap)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
How to make it:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a single-serving ramekin with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix oats, baking powder, spices, and salt until combined.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together fruit/veggie puree of choice (again, I used pumpkin), milk, molasses, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.
- Add dry ingredients to mix ingredients and stir until combined.
- If you'd like to add any extra ingredients (chocolate chips, additional spices or sweetener, dried fruit), do so now. If you think the flavor of your fruit/veggie puree is coming out too strong, you can try adding more molasses and spices (a little at a time; don't go crazy!).
- Drop cream cheese in small clumps into batter, stirring slightly to distribute the clumps throughout the oatmeal.
- Pour into the prepared ramekin. I added a few more clumps of cream cheese on the top. Then, bake for 20-25 minutes.
Just an FYI:
Possibilities for puree included pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, banana, applesauce, or, for a completely neutral flavor, try avocado or zucchini/yellow squash. The strong gingerbread spices will cover the flavors of the other purees for the most part, but not completely. Adapted from Pumpkin Cream Cheese Baked Oatmeal and Sweet Potato Gingerbread Oatmeal