Are you ready for another holiday cookie recipe? I hope so, because this one’s a keeper and based on a secret family recipe!
For as long as Aaron can remember (and definitely as long as I’ve known Aaron), his mom, Kathy, has been making big batches of cookies from Thanksgiving through Christmas. There is never a shortage of cookies at the Scott house any time of year, and this is especially true around the holidays. Each year, Kathy makes candy cane cookies, almond cookies, snickerdoodles, and my favorite—gingerbread cookies. It’s not a visit to Aaron’s parents’ house unless you’ve eaten at least five cookies and left with a tupperware of more to take home.
This abundance of cookies growing up is for sure why Aaron asks me, half seriously, “where are the cookies?” most nights after dinner. (he knows the answer is almost always, “the cookies are at the store.”) There is so much nostalgia associated with these cookies, and I really like the idea of making the same few treats at certain times of the year. Aaron and I don’t have a lot of our own traditions just yet, so when we visited his family for Thanksgiving and his mom brought out a plate of her classic gingerbread cookies, I knew I wanted to see if I could put my own (vegan) spin on her recipe and make these cookies a regular part of our winter celebrations.
I think it’s always important to use quality ingredients, but especially around the holidays when you’re often making food for other people. For these vegan gingerbread cookies, I used McCormick Ground Cinnamon and Ground Ginger, and added ample amounts of both because I love their cozy flavors. Even though I don’t have any really strong family cookie traditions, those two spices take me right back in time to some of my favorite memories, when my mom also used the McCormick brand and her spice cabinet was lined with little red-capped containers.
To make the cookies vegan, I swapped the egg and butter for a flax “egg” and vegan butter, traded white sugar for coconut sugar, and then replaced the light molasses with blackstrap, although you could certainly use regular molasses if you prefer a less molasses-y cookie.
The icing is a non-dairy version of a classic mix: vegan butter, powdered sugar, and a little almond milk to thin it out. I filled a small, sealable plastic bag with icing, cut off a tiny portion of one corner, and then decorated to my heart’s content! You can be as simple or as fancy as you like, or skip the icing entirely and quickly dust your gingerbread cookies with powdered sugar. I got really into “the baking zone” and before I knew it, I had spent nearly an hour creating different snowflake patterns. It was kind of like those adult coloring books that people use to reduce stress, except I got to eat my work when I was done!
If you’re looking for a classic and vegan gingerbread cookie recipe, I think you’re going to love this one. The original recipe has stood the test of time in the Scott family, and I expect this version will stand the test of time in our little family now too.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays (and lots of cookies)! xo
- 1 flax "egg" (1 tablespoon flax seeds, freshly ground + 3 tablespoons warm water)
- ½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
- 1¼ teaspoons McCormick Ground Ginger
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tablespoons plain unsweetened almond milk
- In a small bowl, stir together the ground flax and warm water. Set aside for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter, sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and flax "egg" on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, or until combined. Mix in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until just combined. The dough should be very thick.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 1 hour in the freezer.
- Once chilled, divide the dough in half and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper, flouring the bottom piece of parchment paper and top of the dough as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. The rolled dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to baking to help them retain their shape.
- While the cut dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or just until the edges begin to turn a darker brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the icing: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and powdered sugar. Mix in the almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the texture is thick but pliable. Transfer the icing to a sandwich-sized sealable bag. Squeeze out any air, then seal the bag. Use scissors to cut a tiny hole (about 1 mm) in one of the bottom corners.
- Decorate the cookies however you like. Leftover cookies should be kept covered and stored at room temperature (up to a few days).
You can replace the ground ginger and cinnamon with 2½ teaspoons of McCormick Gingerbread Spice if you like.
Bake times will vary depending on your oven. I found 8 minutes to be the ideal time for softer cookies, 9 minutes for crispy edges with soft centers, and 10 minutes for an all-around crisp cookie. Keep a close eye on them though because they bake up fast.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of McCormick®. Visit McCormick.com for more holiday flavors, including Gingerbread Spice, Pure Peppermint Extract, Rum Extract, and Ground Nutmeg to add a little something special to your holiday dishes.