Sorghum is making a comeback. And when ingredients are making a comeback, it’s important to invite them to the table, tell everyone about them, and get more people using them so there’s a demand and the farmer will grow more. It’s economics, but tastier. So I like to help facilitate that by showing new ways to make those ingredients more familiar and integrating them into recipes. These sorghum gingerbread people are just one example.
The molasses in the gingerbread cookies is replaced by sorghum, as they have a similar consistency and role in the cookie’s taste, but with a slightly less bittery taste. It also adds a depth of taste, plus a little icebreaker too. “Yeah these are made with sorghum…” then you dazzle the cookie eater with your knowledge of this bygone grain product that you’re cool enough to know about. Plus the whole supporting the farmers thing, that’s still important too.
When replacing molasses with sorghum it’s a 1:1 ratio. There are other guidelines to follow when substituting it for granule sugars.
Sorghum Gingerbread People
(adapted from The Kitchen Paper)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 T ground ginger
- 2 t ground cinnamon
- 1/8 t ground cloves
- 6 T unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup sorghum molasses
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 t finely grated orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Whisk the flour, salt, and spices together in a bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they’ve just come together.
- Add the egg, and mix until incorporated.
- Add the molasses, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix until incorporated.
- Slowly mix in the flour mixture until your dough forms. You may need to remove it from the mixer and knead by hand to get the dough to come together. Sprinkle in more flour bit by bit as needed.
- Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thickness.
- Use your cookie cutters to make desired shapes. Re-roll the scraps until there’s not enough dough left to use the cutters.
- Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 8 minutes.
- If you’re not immediately making the cookies, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate (or freeze) until you are ready to use it. Before using, bring to room temperature.
- Once cooled, decorate with royal icing and sprinkles as desired.
Icing cookies is not the easiest unless you have an idea of what you’re doing. I’ve watched several Youtube videos on tips and tricks since icing this sad-looking gingerbread bunch. They’re probably sad because they’re so delicious.