Thursday, December 15, 2005

Gingerbread Vegans

Every year around the solstice we throw a "Gingerbread Cookie Party" for all of James’ friends. Kids come over to decorate cookies with piping bags of white and colored icing, to drink Silk Nog and sparkling cider, and play games. No gifts are exchanged, but each guest is asked to bring $2 for the animal shelter. The next day James and I take the money down to the shelter to wish the animals there a happy, homebound holiday.

All-natural vegan food coloring and sprinkles are available on the web from Vegan Essentials.

makes about 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size you choose

1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sweet unsulphured molasses
¾ cup water
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. allspice

for decorating:

Gingerbread Vegan Icing (see below)
sprinkles (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the margarine, brown sugar, molasses, and ½ cup of water.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, adding just enough of the water to incorporate all the flour and form a dough that holds together well.

Turn the dough out of the bowl and form into four equal balls. Wrap each ball well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Line some baking sheets with parchment and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Working with one ball at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Roll the dough about ¼-inch thick and use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes. Use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets, placing them about 1 to 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the surface is firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then decorate with Gingerbread Vegan Icing.

Gingerbread Vegan Icing

You may want to make multiple batches of this icing and color each with a different food coloring for some very colorful cookie creations. I prefer the look of clean white icing on my little vegans.

makes about 3/4 cup

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ TB Silk Nog or 1 TB water

Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla. Sprinkle in the Silk Nog or water, stirring well with a small spatula and using just enough liquid to form a smooth icing. It should be soft enough to squeeze easily out of a piping bag, but not so runny that it runs out of the bag unbidden. Transfer the icing to the piping bag and decorate the cookies as desired.

To pack some frosting for the lunch box, put a small amount of icing into one corner of a sandwich-sized ziplock bag, then twist the filled corner off and secure snugly with a small rubber band and a piece of holiday ribbon. Cut away the top of the baggie, then cut a very small hole in the tip of the bag to squeeze the icing out. Cover the tip with a bit of plastic wrap so the icing does not dry out before lunch.


Anonymous said...

Jennifer -

I'm just now learning that there are different kinds of molasses.
My stores *only* carry Blackstrap or mild/original.

Do you have a name or a source or something (photo of label?) that you could post to help me to understand what you mean when you call for "sweet" molasses in your recipe? Is this the kind that is also known as "Barbados"?

Thanks for your advice (and of course all the recipes)!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Hilly! Sweet would be the same as mild. Blackstrap is also called "dark" and is stronger and not as sweet. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

looking for the french toast recipe

is there a way to see past recipe posts?

i'm lovin your blog !!!

like a good little westerner, i even want your luch box


Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, sarah! I think you're referring to the french toast I made for Little shmoo's lunch box a few weeks ago. As I mentioned in the post it is from the new cookbook "Vegan With A Vengeance". Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Gurgle... I made these for my fellow English 9 students (A bit of bribery after I gave a presentation on fairy tales) and got rave reviews. Nobody could tell that they were vegan... and the lack of egg replacer meant I already had everything in the house... Thank you!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hooray for gingerbread cookies and fairy tales -- that sounds like a great combination! Thanks for the review, Jenelle!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer!

It was nice seeing you at the potluck the other night.

I can't find the vegan food coloring or sprinkles at Vegan Essentials. Any idea if they stopped carrying it? N's birthday is coming up and I wanted to do vegan cupcakes with icing/sprinkles. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to find a vegan frosting recipe that will be sticky enough to work as icing for a gingerbread house. Any ideas? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I found vegan icing recipe in Vegetarian Times, Nov/Dec 2006 issue. It was for vegan sugar cookies, but I made it last christmas for gingerbread house and was absolutly happy with it. It holdes gingerbread house very well and it's also very delicious.

3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 Tbs. plus 2 tsp vanilla soymilk
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
white sperkling sugar or white sprinkles for topping (optional)

Beat sugar, soymilk and peppermint extract in bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Add an additional tsp. soymilk if frosting is too thick.

It has nice peppermint flavor, which, I think, goes very well with gingerbrean taste, but if you doen't like it, skip peppermint extract or use any other flavor you like.
good luck.

x said...

Mmm, I've been on a gingerbread baking spree lately, might try your recipe as well!

Love your blog :) xox

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Jenn said...

Thank you for this vegan recipe! I needed it!!