Dark maple syrup, with its rich color and deep sweetness stands up well to the assertive spice of ginger. That blend of complex sweetness and assertive spice makes this maple gingerbread men a particularly nice cookie to serve for Christmas cookie swaps and yuletide parties. It's something you can tuck into tins and give to friends, or set on a plate for Santa's visit.
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Which kind of maple?
Maple is a natural pairing for ginger. Its rich flavor and subtle woodsy notes marry beautifully with the fiery, assertive flavor of ginger. It can also stand up well to another traditional gingerbread flavor: molasses.
Real maple syrup is classified by color which ranges from a light golden to a very deep, dark brown. And flavor corresponds with color. The lighter the syrup, the lighter its flavor, and the darker the syrup, the deeper and more robust its flavor.
So while a light Amber-colored maple syrup does particularly well as a topping for fresh berries, sourdough pancakes or homemade yogurt, dark maple, with its deep flavor, pairs nicely with stronger and more assertive flavors. So while a light maple syrup might get lost between the molasses and ginger in these gingerbread cookies, a dark maple stands up well to these flavors, bringing greater depth of flavor to the cookie.
As a minimally processed, natural sweetener, maple syrup is also richer in micronutrients than refined sweeteners like white sugar. It contains various antioxidants, as well as minerals like manganese, zinc, potassium, calcium and iron.