We got our festive Yule tree on Saturday and immediately I declared there would be no dressing of said tree until the house smelled of gingerbread and mince pies.
Below is my version of the gingerbread cookie recipe from Post-Punk Kitchen. This version is not explicitly vegan, as I only had regular dairy milk to hand when I whipped up this lot, but the milks are totally interchangeable. I have done the vegan version before and it rocks! I think the only real difference between the two is that using dairy milk makes these cookies a little heavier, while the plain soya milk gives the cookies an added nuttiness. The rest of the ingredients can be found in most kitchens, so make them up for your How-Veggie-Are-They-Again? friends!
Time: 15 min to mix; 1-72 hrs to chill; 8-10 min per cookie sheet to bake
1/3 c. sunflower oil
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. molasses (I used raw cane molasses, but I don’t think it matters that much)
1/4 c. milk
2 c. plain flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil and sugar together until fluffy (3 minutes). Add molasses and soymilk. It will probably look a little like an oil slick on the surface.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet in several small batches. You will need a firm wooden spoon or one of those indestructible spatulas towards the end, as this creates a fairly stiff dough. However, keep mixing until it is well combined. Ball the dough up and then gently flatten it into a disc. The original recipe recommends chilling the dough wrapped in plastic, but I wrapped my first batch in a regular tea towel and my second using a silicone baking sheet with excellent results.
Chill for a minimum of an hour, though you can make the dough up to three days ahead of time, if you’re organised. They recommend allowing the dough to sit out of the fridge for about 10 minutes for good reason: it will crumble and wilt horribly if you try tackling it straight from a day in the fridge. The taste is just the same, but it’s more hassle than you need from gingerbread.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F/150 C/Gas 5.
Have a floured countertop and a greased cookie sheet at the ready. Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick as needed (I had enough to swath most of south-east London in cookie dough, so doing it in batches was quite sensible). Cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters and arrange on the cookie sheet. Bake on the third shelf down for 8 minutes, or up to 10 minutes if you want them to have an immediate crunch.
Let them cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack. Wait until they are completely cool before icing.
The PPKers suggest using a skewer or chopstick or something to punch a hole in the cookies before baking, and as forgetting to do so until after they were baked met with failure, I recommend it, too.