These vegan molasses ginger cookies are the perfect holiday treat! Sweet, spicy, tender on the inside, and crispy at the edges.
These are my number one, all time favorite holiday cookie.
But I have a very special fondness for the combination of ginger and molasses. Gingerbread might actually be my favorite holiday dessert, or at least my favorite Christmas cake. So much, so, that I have two versions of it on this blog: classic and gluten-free.
These vegan molasses ginger cookies channel the sugar and spice of gingerbread. But they cook in much less time than gingerbread cake. You can whip up a batch for last minute enjoyment on Christmas eve. Or anytime people stop by unexpectedly for a holiday gathering.
Before I veganized these cookies 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, and these molasses ginger cookies are no exception. (More chewy cookie tips 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 pretty gingery: two whole teaspoons of ground ginger go into the batter. I use just enough molasses to impart flavor without being overwhelming.
Resting the dough for these cookies helps them to have that perfect texture after they bake. You know the one I mean: chewy and puffy at the center, just crispy at the edges.
Resting cookie dough helps to fully hydrate the flour, distributing moisture evenly through the dough. This, in turn, helps the cookies to bake evenly.
Resting the cookies will also firm up the fat you’ve used (butter or oil). This prevents the cookies from spreading too thinly when they bake. In this recipe, the resting (or “ripening”) time helps the center of the cookies to become nice and puffy.
If you don’t have time to give the cookies an overnight rest, that’s OK. A minimum of two hours will be good enough. But if you remember, and you don’t mind planning ahead, I highly recommend the overnight fridge sit.
Fortunately, these cookies require much less decoration than other Christmas cookies! No piping, icing, jam, or clouds of confectioners sugar necessary.
To decorate the cookies, I simply roll cold balls of dough in sparkling sugar before baking. If you don’t have sparkling sugar at home, regular cane sugar will be fine (though sparkling sugar is a nice investment if you bake often).
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.
Most vegans know the experience of having to skip dessert at a holiday gathering because the offering isn’t vegan-friendly. This year, try making a batch of these soft, sweet molasses ginger cookies to share with loved ones and friends.
Watch and smile as they earn rave reviews. Because, in my experience, they always do.
From my cozy little room at my mother’s cozy little apartment, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas eve and morning.