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It’s Cookie Week At Allergy Schatz!!
And we’re baking up our favorite gluten, corn, and dairy-free holiday cookie recipes and first up on our list is gingerbread cookies!
What happens when you mix the perfect blend of holiday spices with a vegan twist? A tasty family of gingerbread people to show off or gobble up!
Before you get started, make sure you have all your tools of the trade ready to go. Pull out your cookie cutters, clean off your rolling pin, and clear a space in the kitchen that you can use. I recommend washing your cookie cutters and baking equipment the night before so your items have time to get fully dry before you use them on your cookie dough. Nothing is worse than getting ready to cut out your cookies and finding a huge glob of water come out and ruin everything!
Other items you will want to make sure you have if you don’t already are a standing mixer with paddle attachment, rubber tip flat spatulas, parchment paper, a large mixing bowl, baking sheets, and a rolling pin. Also any homemade ingredients like brown sugar you’ll want to make ahead of time.
Making the Brown Sugar
So this is a task that seems like a lot of work, but can actually move quickly. If you don’t have food allergies or are not worried about your food being vegan, you can skip this step and go to the store to buy some brown sugar. But in our kitchen, allergies to corn prevent us from using store bought brown sugar, so we make ours at home.
All you need to do this is 1 cup of organic cane sugar to 1 tbsp of unsulfured organic molasses, and your stand mixer with paddle attachment. Pour the sugar into the standing mixer bowl and turn on medium-low. Slowly pour in molasses. Note that I say slowly because despite what you’ve heard, molasses actually pours out of the bottle really fast and if you don’t pay attention, it’ll end up on the sides of your mixing bowl instead of in your sugar.
If you want more sugar, just multiply by the number of cups you want. I usually make at least 6 cups at a time so I can save and store it for later. Your homemade brown sugar will store well in the fridge. If it gets hard and difficult to scoop out, turn your oven on 175°, place the jar of sugar on a baking sheet, and allow to heat for 10- 15 minutes. This will loosen up the sugar that you can scoop it out easily.
If you’ve never heard of aquafaba before, don’t run away! When you view vegan recipes and it calls for this item you need look no further than a can of garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas). The liquid from these beans can be used as a substitute for eggs in baking and yields amazing results! If you have extra liquid leftover, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Ok, now that we got all the hard stuff out of the way, let’s talk baking gingerbread cookies. One of the fantastic things about these cookies to me is more about how they smell, than it is about how they taste. Don’t get me wrong, our cookies taste great, but the smell of warm spices just brings out that holiday joy and makes every bite of your gingerbread cookies taste that much better.
We talked earlier about having all of your items ready before you start. An organized kitchen counter makes for a happy baker. Once everything is in place, you can start by adding all your dry ingredients, except the sugar, into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk together until well blended, then set aside. If you mess up and accidentally pour the sugar in with the dry stuff, don’t panic. Your cookies will still come out ok, but they may not be as soft. Creaming butter and sugar together I find has a better outcome for my baked goods. The most important thing is that you don’t immediately add it to the wet ingredients.
As you will note in the recipe, you will need molasses for the cookies beyond what you used to make brown sugar. Again I want to reiterate that the old saying “slow as molasses” does not apply here so you need to watch what you are doing when you pour the molasses into your mix. Another quick note that I learned from personal experience-don’t store the bottle upside down with the lid on so that the molasses will all come to the top. It definitely will and it definitely will spill out of the bottle and create a 10-20 min mess you have to clean up.
Once all your items are blended you should have a dough that is a rich brown color. Now you get to be really hands on and roll all of the dough into a large ball. Then divide that ball in half and wrap each ball separately with cling or plastic wrap. Let the ball rest at room temperature for about an hour. What can you do while you wait? I recommend using this time to clean up your mess and wash your utensils-this way when the cookies are done, you are too!
When you’re ready to work with your dough, you can roll it out onto a floured surface. I prefer to put down a piece of parchment paper so that transfers and clean up are easy (can you tell I hate when my kitchen is a mess😏)
Try to roll it our in even strokes on each side but, dont work if it all goes in different directions. You’re going to be cutting and re-rolling the dough multiple times so perfect is not what we’re going for here. What we are going for is spreading it no more than 1-inch thick. When the cookies rise in the oven, they will puff up a little as they take shape.
Place your cut out cookies onto a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper and space them about 2-inches apart (think of it as socially distancing your cookies). Place baking sheet in pre-heated oven at 375° and bake for 10-12 minutes.
This goes without saying, but I will say it anyway-make sure you set a timer! It is very easy to forget and these cookies are easy and quick to burn (cut to the photo of what my burnt cookies look like; all because I said let me just finish doing this one thing real quick.😩
And that’s it, you’re done! You just made gluten, corn, and dairy-free vegan gingerbread cookies! Just make sure you transfer them to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes before eating or decorating.
Did you try this recipe? Tell us below.