Holiday baking is in full swing! My kitchen floors and I have been covered in flour for the last couple of weeks or so – thanks in part to my girl Sofia… check out two pics below for proof. I’m loving every minute of cooking and baking with her.
Speaking of baking, how about these cuties?! I give you the only recipe you’ll go to next time you want to make gingerbread cookies. That is if you like perfect results, sweet but not overwhelmingly so, spiced just right, not much mess, and kid friendly too. If you said yes to any of the above then this recipe is for YOU! Keep reading ;)
My proof: Sofia making flat bread and her mama proud… and covering my entire kitchen counter and floor with flour! It looked like it snowed inside that day :D Cleanup was a different story. Kids love to help make a mess but cleaning up afterwards is a ‘forget about it’. They don’t do clean. Can’t fault them too much for that – they’re kids after all.
Back to these Gingerbread Cookies.
Sofia’s class is going to have a fun-filled day at school this week – and one of the activities will include decorating these gingerbread men and women with icing and chocolate. And more sugar.
To be a kid again and not worry about a thing or have a care in the world. Let’s take a minute and imagine ourselves back in those good old days….
Her teacher tried to find cookies that everyone including Sofia could have. But as predicted, they either had eggs listed as a main ingredient, or a may contain eggs and tree nuts label. So when she asked me if I’d make the class cute gingerbread men, I was like ‘heck ya’!!
As an allergy parent, I love and wholeheartedly appreciate when a teacher asks me to make food and treats for the class. It might seem like a burden, but honest to God, it isn’t. Being involved in this way helps put my mind at ease, and more importantly ensures my kids are included in these fun and food-filled activities at school.
And I mean, give me a break! How cute right?! I’m inclusive baby – Gingerbread Men AND Women ;)
These are hands down the best Gingerbread Cookies you’ll make and have – in my unbiased opinion, of course. They taste just like gingerbread cookies should with the perfect hint of spice, allowing the flavors to complement each other for an amazing taste. And of course, they’re free from:
- tree nuts
- animal products
Happy holidays my lovely friends. Be safe, be kind, and love love love. xx
- 2½ C flour
- 2 Tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tsp ginger powder
- ½ Tsp nutmeg
- ½ Tsp cloves
- 1 Tsp cornstarch
- ½ Tsp baking powder
- ½ Tsp baking soda
- ½ Tsp sea salt
- ¾ C vegan butter - I used Earth Balance butter spread
- 1 C packed brown sugar
- ⅓ C molasses - I used carob*
- ½ Tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, sift together first 9 ingredients: flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a shallow pan, melt the butter on medium heat. As soon as it's almost all melted, add the sugar and whisk well until it's fully incorporated - a few minutes of continuous whisking.
- Add the molasses and vanilla and continue whisking a few times more.
- Then, add liquid mixture into dry mixture and using a spatula, combine the ingredients until dough comes together fully. You may want to use your hand to help with forming the dough.
- Once the dough is formed, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. You may want to divide the dough in half to make wrapping and rolling easier. That's what I did.
- Place in the fridge to chill for about 1 hour. (see Notes for explanation)
- Preheat oven to 350F and remove discs from fridge and let sit on the counter for a few minutes.
- Working with one disc at a time, lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough using a rolling pin to just over ⅛" thick (but less than ¼") . (see Notes for tip)
- Use cookie cutters to make shapes and place on a lined baking sheet, about 1" apart.
- Place pan in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. (see Notes)
- Remove and let cookies cool in the pan before handling.
Unless you have an allergy to sulfur, use unsulfured molasses - It tastes much better (in my humble opinion) and works perfectly to enhance the taste of these gingerbread cookies.
Chilling the dough in this recipe helps to add moisture. Also, since the butter mixture is very warm when mixed in to form the dough, you want to cool the dough so it can roll easier and cut/shape better. I chilled mine for just over an hour, but you can check at the 30 minute mark and see if the discs feel cool. You don't need more than an hour of chill time.
When rolling, use the plastic wrap you used to wrap and chill the dough with. It prevents the rolling pin from sticking to the dough, which in turn helps you spread the dough more efficiently, as well as using less flour to help the dough stay soft. win-win.
The thickness I rolled my dough to was right in between ⅛" and ¼" thick. This was the perfect thickness for these delicious cookies!! You don't need to be 100% precise when measuring, just aim to roll the dough a scant below ¼" to get the crispiest most delicious bites of gingerbread cookies!
Remember, the thicker your cookies are, the softer they'll be once baked. So if you'd prefer a softer cookie, cut to ¼" and bake for 9-10 minutes.
The size of the cookie cutters I used for this recipe measured at 3.25" - so depending on how big your cookie cutter is and the shape you choose to use, quantity will vary.
And feel free to use whatever cookie cutter shape you'd like, it doesn't just have to be gingerbread men - sky's the limit :)