December 9, 2013
Gifts from the Kitchen: Vegan Ginger Cookies
This is the season of cookies, isn't it? Everyone seems to have a holiday favorite, and there is no end in sight to the cookie baking at this point in December. I didn't grow up making specific holiday cookies, nor do I enter December with a cookie bucket list as an adult, but even I have a TON of cookie making to do in the next few weeks.
One of my favorite reasons to make cookies though is something called Operation Cookie Drop. I'm not sure if it's an Air Force wide tradition, but it has happened at every base we've been stationed at. One day in December, people come together to donate and deliver cookies to all the single Airmen living in the dorms on base. These are mostly really young/brand new to the Air Force people, and it can be so tough to be away from home during the holidays those first few years. Nothing will make it easier, but having a ton of cookies delivered to your door makes it just a tad bit nicer.
These cookies are a new discovery. I really can't get enough ginger (seriously-even my new favorite tea is ginger flavored!), and the fact that these cookies are vegan is just a nice bonus. When I passed these around at various events this weekend not a single person uttered the dreaded "these are good-for being vegan". I don't have too many vegan treats in my arsenal and while I'm always on the hunt for more, I need them to stand on their own. It should be a good cookie-not just a good vegan cookie.
These fit the bill. They have double dose of ginger. Ground and fresh ginger in the dough itself, and then more fresh grated into the sugar coating. It's just enough bite without being "spicy". The inside is soft and the outside just a touch crunchy. They will brown only slightly, so don't panic that they aren't cooked enough and leave them in the oven for an extra minute or two. The ones I took out at 15 minutes had a much better texture than the ones I left in for 18. Just keep an eye on them once you hit 14 minutes!
What is your favorite cookie to make at the holidays?
Vegan Ginger Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a small lemon)
1 tbsp lemon zest
For sugar to roll the cookies in:
1 cup sugar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Whisk together flours, baking powder and soda, salt and gingers in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together sugar, applesauce, canola oil, lemon juice and zest. Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the dry and stir together with a wooden spoon or a stiff spatula. Don't panic if all the flour doesn't mix in right away. Keep mixing and in a few minutes it will be all incorporated. Once it is, pat the dough into a disc shape, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
In the meantime, pour 1 cup of sugar into a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger to it. Mix together so that the sugar is fragrant.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering in parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350.
Take the dough out of the fridge and begin to roll it into balls about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Roll the ball in the ginger sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Gently press down with your hand to slightly flatten the dough. The cookies don't spread while baking, so they can be fairly close together on the pan.
Bake for 15-18 minutes.