By Tiffany Mayer

Kale is the darling of all vegetables, no matter how much cauliflower, broccoli or any other leafy green tries to push it off its pedestal.
People pack kale into soups, salads, smoothies, stir-fries, even snacks. But it also lends itself to sweets. While the mere thought might be enough to make some people cringe, kale in cookies, like these chewy ginger molasses ones, can be a saviour for the over-indulger. The best part is that nothing gives away the kale’s presence other than the odd fleck of green you’ll see if you look closely.

These cookies were a source of comfort when I returned to work after my maternity leave. The richness of the butter and molasses, warmth of the ginger and the chewy crumb provided a homemade, decadent (albeit fleeting), escape from emails and deadlines when I was adjusting to life back at the office. The addition of kale was a bit of a lark after a Twitter conversation with a colleague. But with all of kale’s touted mood-boosting properties (thanks to its folate content), why not throw some in?

Bottom line: these cookies were a hit with my co-workers, which made adjusting to being around them, rather than my toddler, easier.

Ginger Molasses Kale Cookies, Courtesy of Tiffany Mayer, eatingniagara.com, St. Catharines, Ont.

There’s a surprise ingredient in these spicy cookies.

Kale Cookies

Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) coconut sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup (50 mL) molasses
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed torn kale, stems removed
2 cups (500 mL) flour
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
3/4 cup (175 mL) raw sugar

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Stir in molasses.
3. Pulse kale in food processor until finely chopped; set aside.
4. In medium bowl, combine flour, crystallized ginger, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and salt. Fold into butter mixture. Stir in kale, mixing well.
5. Roll dough, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, into balls. Roll in raw sugar to coat.
6. Place balls 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart on prepared cookie sheets.
7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until edges darken slightly.

Eating Niagara
Tiffany Mayer is a journalist and the author of Niagara Food: A Flavourful History of the Peninsula’s Bounty. She calls St. Catharines home and lives for peach season. She writes about local food and farming at eatingniagara.com, and when she’s not eating, she can be found satisfying her inner boat nerd by watching ships on the Welland Canal, or refereeing three cats and one toddler.