And since I do like to play around with the ingredients, I thought I would make two batches of cookies exactly the same only changing the kind of oil I would use in each batch. The recipe called for shortening, but I know what a health hazard shortening is, so I opted for two healthy options. One option was lard (organic from Miller's Organic Farm through the Auburn Food Buying Club) and the other option was unrefined coconut oil. In appearance, the cookies made with lard turned out more rounded and kept their original shape better than did the coconut oil batch. The husband gave both the taste test and he was not told which cookie contained the lard or coconut oil. His vote was for the coconut oil batch saying "they were tastier" - so there you have it from someone who loves ginger cookies. I think the reason for the coconut oil batch being tastier was because the lard batch did have a smell and slight taste of lard which masked the other flavors somewhat. I could not tell much difference myself. Either way both were good and healthier versions of the original recipe. These turned out great! Hope you'll try them too.
Please note that some people do not tolerate xylitol as well as others and may experience gastric distress. Since I have no problems with xylitol, this recipe if fine for me, but just know that everyone is different and you may be one that cannot handle xylitol well.
Here's my adapted recipe from the power bill by Kelly Junkins, Vestavia.
Papa's Favorite Gingersnaps
3/4 cup lard or coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup Xylitol
1 dropper full of liquid Stevia
4 Tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour (I used sprouted spelt flour from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
Preheat oven to 325. Cream together (I just used a spoon and a bowl) the lard or the coconut oil with the Xylitol and Stevia. Add molasses and egg, mixing well. By hand, mix in dry ingredients putting in the flour first and the rest of the dry ingredients on top. Stir together until smooth (resist the urge to add more liquid if seems too dry - once it is well mixed it will be just right). Roll into one inch balls, put into a bowl with a little Xylitol and roll around to coat, then place the balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 12 minutes. Leave cookies on sheet for a few minutes before removing. Enjoy. These are best consumed fresh as each day after baking tends to dry out the cookie.