The best thing about baking gingerbread cookies is the aroma of fresh spices, especially cloves. This nutty, spicy smell floats in the apartment for a long time. You can smell it on the furniture, sweaters, even dog’s fur. Few days later, when I open one of the kitchen closets, this earthy aroma pops out of nowhere. I adore it!
The other stages of baking gingerbread cookies are rather typical. Besides the last one, called never ending story about rolling, cutting and repeating. And the dough, there is always so much of it, too much. So this last part lasts forever. I start to feel like professional cutting machine with full time job. I partially blame my tiny cookie cutters, which I chose only because of piggy shaped one. I start to doubt if it was a good choice. I never use angles and Santa, the look to weird. The star with a tail always splits, the bear loses its legs and the snowman looks like the ‘8’. But the other star, an apple, amushroom, abell and THE pig keep the level pretty high. Especially the pig, it’s the best. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that purchase of these cutters was’t so bad at all (only because of the piggy shaped of course).
The recipe I based on, emphasizes the importance of rolling the dough evenly. To be honest, I didn’t care at all. Some to the were thicker, some thinner. They all were fine until I removed them from the hot baking tray as soon as possible.Those few that broke, were eaten immediately. So there is no proof of any bad outcomes.
These gingerbread cookies are sweet enough itself (for me), so instead putting the frosting full of sugar, I suggest leaving them undecorated or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Besides how much time can it take to decorate 3 baking trays of cookies, so they will look quite edible? A week? A month?
To sum up, they are delicious, aromatic, slightly soft, a little bit addictive. Perfect!
Vegan gingerbread cookies
Based on the recipe from ilovevegan.com
3 baking trays of mini gingerbread cookies
1⅓ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour+ about 6 tbsps*
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup coconut oil melted**
½ cup + 1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup molasses (not blackstrap one)***
½ tsp vanilla
* instead of whole wheat I use only the all purpose one
** I recommend using unrefined coconut oil, so the cookies get this subtle coconut aroma
*** I didn’t have molasses in my kitchen, so I used ¼ cup of date syrup and ¼ cup dandelion syrup, I wrote about in o Kulinetki #5
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and the sugar. Beat for 1-2 minutes using hand mixer until the mixture is nice and well combined. Add the water, molasses and vanilla, beat for another 30 seconds.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar mixture, beating to combine. At the end knead the dough with your hand. Add more flour if needed, gradually. Be careful not to make the dough to dry.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 2 hours)
- Before rolling, let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325F (about 160C).
- Roll the dough.I suggest you to roll indirectly onto parchment paper. Moving cookies to a baking tray can be tricky. If the dough is to sticky, sprinkle with a little bit of flour. Roll the dough 0,5cm-1cm thick, depend on what kind of thickness you like. Use cookie cutters to cut out the dough, gently remove the excess dough. Keep re-rolling and cutting out the dough until it’s all used up (never ending part).
- Pop the unbaked cookies into the freezer to chill for 10 minutes (I skipped this step, due to lack of space in my freezer for such a big thing like baking tray).
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges and barely firm in the center.
- Let them cool completely before decorating. Store them in an airtight container for a perfectly soft chewy texture. Alternatively, you can store them with a little bit of air ventilation for a lightly crisp cookies.