My blog this week seems to have vacillated rather dramatically between the intimate and the edible. I wrote about my career change on Monday, parsnip spread on Tuesday, my fondness for the publishing world yesterday, and today I’m writing about cookies. My favorite kind of cookies, actually: chewy vegan molasses ginger cookies.
To call something a favorite cookie is, I know, a big statement. There are so many wonderful types of cookies out there, and it’s not as though I don’t love chocolate chunk cookies, or oatmeal cookies, or snickerdoodles, or . . . well, you get the idea.
But I have a very special fondness for the combination of ginger and molasses. Gingerbread might actually be my favorite dessert, or at least my favorite type of cake. These vegan molasses ginger cookies channel the spiciness and richness of gingerbread, but they cook in much less time than cake. Which means that you can whip up a batch at the last moment on Christmas eve, or anytime people stop by unexpectedly for a holiday gathering.
Before I veganized these successfully, I came up with a number of not-so-successful versions. It was hard, at first, to get that perfect puffy rise, the crackled texture, and the right amount of chewiness in the center. What I found is that it’s key to melt the butter before mixing the dough (this is a trick for making chewy cookies in general, but it’s especially important here). And over time I came up with the right ratio of baking soda to powder, spices, and so on. I like the cookies to be very gingery, and I use blackstrap molasses, which has a deep and unmistakable flavor.
It’s Christmas eve, which means that many of you spent the nights working hard in your kitchens. Allow these cookies to be a sweet, and simple dessert for you tonight.
|Vegan Molasses Ginger Cookies|| |
- 1¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 cup light spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 8 tablespoons melted vegan buttery spread
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea can water) or 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water and allowed to thicken for a few minutes)
- Demerara or turbinado sugar (or cane sugar), for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice.
- Mix together the melted vegan buttery spread, sugars, molasses, and aquafaba. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to combine well. The dough will be wet and sticky. Cover it and transfer it to the fridge. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours, or overnight.
- Shape the dough into two-inch balls and roll them in sugar. Place the dough 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the center of the cookies is puffed and cracked (I recommend checking them at 8 minutes, just in case they've cooked quickly). Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack before enjoying.
Most vegans know the experience of having to skip dessert at a holiday gathering because the sweet offering isn’t vegan friendly. This year, try making a batch of these soft, sweet, and super fragrant cookies to share with loved ones and friends. Watch and smile as they earn rave reviews–because, in my experience, they always do–and know that your edible gift to others is both delicious and animal-friendly.
From my cozy little room at my mother’s cozy little apartment, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas eve and morning.