Christmas is around the corner, so I’m posting a Western recipe for a change! As a spice lover, I love anything gingerbread. Ginger isn’t the only spice used despite the name, cinnamon, nutmeg are usually also present as well. The traditional gingerbread also includes cloves, but I didn’t have any on hand so I use Chinese five spice and sometimes cardamom. I’ve been making it like this for 2 years, and it always turns out moist, slightly chewy, homely and comforting. So I’m sharing the recipe here.
As a (sometimes) lazy cook, I love simplifying and reducing the steps needed. This recipe is very basic. I didn’t want to top it off with icing or frosting as I find it’s too sweet and troublesome. Icing sugar is my least favourite baking ingredient – it has no nutritional value, a mess to work with and will attract ants if some gets on the floor! If you want to add icing, I’ve included the recipe below too. This year I also didn’t want to use cookie cutters as that means more steps and more utensils to wash.
The dough can be made in advance up to 2 days. Keep in the fridge and remove once you are ready to portion and bake. The dough also rolls well and can be cut with cookie cutters into various shapes before baking.
RUSTIC GINGERBREAD COOKIES
Makes around 20 pieces
- 1/3 cup neutral flavoured plant oil (I use grapeseed)
- 3/4 cup raw sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use oat)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves or cardamom or five spice powder
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla paste
In a large bowl, whisk oil with molasses and raw sugar till mixed together into wet crumb-like texture. Add non-dairy milk, vanilla and whisk till combined. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and all spices into the mixture. Add salt. Use a spatula and mix in one direction till just combined into a dough. Place dough into a sheet of cling wrap, spread it out, flatten and wrap. Chill in fridge for 1 hour to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 175C. Portion dough into 25g balls and place onto a pan lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly. Bake at 175C for 12-16mins, rotating halfway. Remove from oven, let it cool on baking paper for 1 min and transfer to cooling rack. Let it cool completely before serving or storing. Cookies can keep up to 4 days at room temperature.
FOR ROYAL ICING (Makes around 1 cup of icing)
- 1 cup icing sugar, or more if needed
- 4 tbsp aquafaba, or more if needed (it’s chickpea water, simply drain out a can of chickpeas)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- Colourings or other flavours, optional
Whip aquafaba and vanilla in a metal bowl with an electric mixer till foamy. Add sugar and vanilla, mix till glossy with soft peaks. Add more liquid (if too dry) or sugar (if too runny) till desired consistency. Do not over mix. Transfer a small amount into piping bag and test on a piece of baking paper. If it sinks a few mins after drawing, it’s too runny so add few tbsp more sugar. Once you’re happy with the consistency, draw onto cooled cookies. Keep the iced cookies uncovered at room temperature to dry the icing before storing. It takes about 1 hour to half a day depending on room temperature, humidity and design of the icing.
To make shapes with cookie cutters, simply roll out the dough onto a clean flour surface till about 0.5-0.7 cm thick. Cut with cutters, remove the extra dough in-between shapes and repeat the rolling and cutting till you use up all the dough. For these cookies, reduce the baking time by 5 – 8 mins to avoid them turning out too hard as they are much thinner.
I’ve started conducting cooking and baking classes! I aim to keep my classes more affordable than regular classes so that it’s as accessible to more people. To keep costs low, I will try to get sponsors. If you’re a vegan business or one selling quality vegan products and will like to sponsor ingredients for my future classes, email me at email@example.com.
In this session, I will share straightforward recipes using common ingredients to make rustic Christmas treats for your loved ones. I will explain basics like how to measure ingredients correctly, the roles of ingredients, how to change the recipes to suit your tastes – basically things that are hard to describe in writing and best shown.
You will work with quality ingredients for the toppings, kindly sponsored by local health grocers, Little Farms. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book! Limited slots available as class is kept small for max benefit.
Testimonials from the previous class’ participants:
- “Very simple and easily available ingredients, clear and easy to follow instructions, great mix of students, absolutely and sinfully delish brownies, muffins and cookies!!! I was SUPER IMPRESSED with my baking” – Hui
- “Morethanveggies baking class was utterly wonderful! Chef patiently explained the procedures and showed us the tricks. With a wealth of up-to-date knowledge, she also advised us on where to get the best ingredients and what to do if we wish to experiment with different flavours.” – Erin