Mesquite Gingerfolk for Christmas

Mesquite Gingerfolk are tasty treats for the holidays.

Mesquite Gingerfolk are tasty treats for the holidays.

It’s Carolyn today sharing one of my favorite holiday recipes. The flavor of mesquite meal blends nicely with the warm spices we like in the winter.  These Mesquite Ginger Folk are pretty cute and they taste wonderful.  I used good quality margarine rather than butter or Crisco because I like the eventual texture and the flavor is good. This recipe makes a spicy cookie. If you want more of the mesquite flavor to come through, cut down on the spices. The dough must be well chilled before you roll it out, so this is a two-step recipe: mixing first, then later rolling and baking.

Mesquite Ginger Folk (makes about 3 1/2 dozen rolled cookies)

In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour,  1/2 cup mesquite meal, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.  Stir and fluff with a fork and then set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 1 1/2 sticks margarine  with 1/2 cup packed brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in 2/3 cup molasses and one large egg. Then gradually add the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. You may need to give up the mixer for a wooden spoon.  Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until chilled, about three hours.

When you are ready to bake, take one disk from the refrigerator .   You’ll want the dough just warm enough to roll without cracking.  While you are waiting, preheat the oven to 350 F. and put out brown paper or wire racks to receive the baked cookies. You’ll also need lots of flour to keep the dough from sticking when rolled.  So get a small bowl of flour, take part of the disk, and roll it in the flour before you roll out with the rolling pin.

Roll a ball of dough in the flour.

Roll a ball of dough in the flour.

Roll out the dough about 1/8-inch thick on flour-dusted surface. Cut out the cookies and transfer them to the cookie sheet, placing them 1 inch apart. Gently knead the scraps together and roll out again.  When you fill one cookie sheet, bake it for about 10 – 12 minutes while you prepare another sheet.

This cutter gives a nice uni-sex cookie.

This cutter gives a nice uni-sex cookie.

If you wish, you can use raisins and dried cranberries to make eyes, a mouth and buttons.  Chop the dried fruit into tiny pieces.

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Sometimes it is difficult to position those tiny pieces on the cookies. But remember those tweezers you keep in the kitchen to deal with cactus stickers?  Perfect for placing the eyes and buttons.

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To further decorate the cookies, perhaps make some shoes or pants, mix up some white frosting using powered sugar, a little butter and a few drops of milk.  If you have a decorator bag, use it to pipe out some decorations or just draw the decorations with a flat-end toothpick.  Either way, you’ll love your Mesquite Ginger Folk and you’ll love sharing them.

If you’d like to make some mesquite cookies but can’t face the cutting and decorating, you can use the same recipe to make drop cookies. Frost if you have time.

Mesquite Ginger Cookies in simple form.

Mesquite Ginger Cookies in simple form.

If you have not harvested your own mesquite meal, here are a few places to purchase it:  The Flor de Mayo Table at Sunday St. Phillips Farmers Market; the Native Seeds/SEARCH store at 3061 N. Campbell Ave. and http://www.nativeseeds.org for mail order; and the San Xavier Farm Store, http://www.sanxavierfarm.org.  If you are in Phoenix, check the farmers markets there.

For more great mesquite recipes, check out my cookbook Cooking the Wild Southwest: Delicious Recipes for Desert Plants. You’ll learn how to make Mesquite Apple Coffeecake, a fabulous rolled cake with mesquite and coconut, a a dozen other delicious recipes.


 

 

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Categories: Cooking, Sonoran Native, Southwest Food | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Mesquite Gingerfolk for Christmas

  1. christyvb

    Oh, yay! I harvested my mesquite for the first time this year and so happy you posted this recipe! I also just purchased your cookbook. I can’t wait to try! Thanks.

  2. Alice L

    Thanks for this recipe! I made a wheat-free version with oat and buckwheat (not a wheat) flours: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153436029764616&l=279fe63118

    • Love to have your recipe. People are so frequently looking for GF recipes using mesquite.

      • Alice L

        Hi! I substituted the 2 cups all-purpose flour with 2 cups oat flour (get certified gluten-free if needed) and the 1/2 cup whole wheat flour with 1/2 cup buckwheat flour. Everything else was per your recipe.

        I was also thinking about oat and brown rice flours or almond or coconut flours. Maybe even millet flour (I’m currently out of that). I think there are many options depending on what someone has in the pantry. 🙂

        If I try a different combination, I’ll let you know how it goes.

        I think this version worked well, and I think they actually taste better today than last night right-out-of-the-oven. 🙂

  3. Great information, Alice. I’ll make note of it. — Carolyn

  4. christyvb

    I made these for the holidays, and they were a big hit! The only change I made was to replace the 1/2 cup whole wheat with another 1/2 cup of mesquite flour. I wanted more mesquite flavor but didn’t want to use less spice. They turned out great! I’ll be making these instead of traditional gingerbread cookies from now on. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. So now we have three modifications to the recipe. I love it!! Whenever I teach, I always try to give the message that everyone should take my recipes as suggestions and inspiration and go from there. Especially when we are dealing with unusual ingredients like mesquite, there is much room for invention and modification. Thanks for writing.

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