Vegan Gingerbread Men and Cutout Sugar Cookies

Holiday cookie baking time has arrived! Many of you have probably already made your cookies, but I wanted to share what we made this year. Both of these recipes work well for using cookie cutters because they keep their shape and don’t spread out much while baking.

The gingerbread cookie recipe (aka Moravian Spice Cookies) was given to us by my Aunt, and it’s the recipe we used when I was growing up. The only non-vegan thing in the original recipe is butter, which is easily replaceable with Earth Balance vegan butter. The sugar cookie recipe came from King Arthur’s website. Both of these doughs have to refrigerate overnight, so make sure you plan ahead. The icing recipe originally came from Vegetation, but I found it on simply.food.

Ingredients for Gingerbread Men:
4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup softened vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup light molasses

Directions for Gingerbread Men:

  • Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate large bowl, cream the brown sugar, vegan butter and molasses.
  • Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients using a wooden spoon and then mix it with your hands until well combined. Form the dough into two or three balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  • Once the dough is ready to use, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out one of the dough balls between parchment paper or wax paper until it’s between 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Dipping the cutters in flour can help the shapes come out of the cutter easier and using a spatula to lift them onto the pan keeps them from breaking. Once your cookie pan is filled place the cookies back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before baking. This keeps the cookies from spreading while baking. Then bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes until very lightly browned. Cool on a rack before moving to a plate.
  • Allow the pan to fully cool before putting more cookies on them. I placed the empty pans in the refrigerator for a few minutes in between batches. Allow the cookies to fully cool before decorating.

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:

1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup + 2 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 1/2 tsp EnerG egg replacer powder mixed with 2 Tbsp water (equivalent to 1 egg)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour

Directions for Sugar Cookies:

  • Combine the sugar, vegan butter, egg replacer, salt, and extracts and beat until smooth.
  • Add the flour and mix until smooth. It will seem dry, but then should come together. If not, slowly add a tablespoon of water until it pulls together. When I made it, the dough was slightly dry, but it still turned out okay.
  • Divide the dough in two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.
  • Once the dough is ready to use, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out one of the dough balls between parchment paper or wax paper until it’s between 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Dipping the cutters in flour can help the shapes come out of the cutter easier and using a spatula to lift them onto the pan keeps them from breaking.
  • Once your cookie pan is filled place the cookies back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before baking. This keeps the cookies from spreading while baking. Then bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes until very lightly browned. Cool on a rack before moving to a plate.

Ingredients for Vegan Royal Icing:

3 Tbsp warm water
2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract

Directions for Vegan Royal Icing:

  • With a hand mixer, beat the water and egg replacer powder.
  • Add the cream of tartar, all three extracts, and 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar. Beat until smooth. The extracts help mask the flavor of the egg replacer powder and compliment the sugar cookies well.
  • Add in the rest of the confectioner’s sugar and beat until well combined. It will be very dry at this point. Add warm water a little at a time (usually about a teaspoon or so at a time) until it is the consistency desired. If you keep it firm, you can use it for icing designs using tips and pastry bags. I decided to water it down a bit more and use it like a glaze to coat the cookies. I am not very talented with icing however, so this was the easy option for me!
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