vegan gingerbread cookies with lemon icing

iced gingerbread cookies

Oh look, more cookies! I have multiple kinds of cookie dough in the freezer, and I'm starting to wonder if perhaps I went a little overboard. And I originally wrote "overbread," so yeah, baking is clearly on my brain. Better that than this travesty of a Bears game I'm watching. I'm hoping blogging will somehow turn this game around. Hey Jay, if you pull this off, I'll totally make you some gingerbread!

Yeah, I just offered a type I diabetic sugary cookies. I'm going to be a great doctor.

So wow, back to the cookies. For once, I used no butter! Crazy, I know. But I have some dairy-intolerant folks in my life, and who doesn't need a change of pace sometimes?

I like two things in my gingerbread: extra ginger and a touch of lemon in the icing. Well, I also like my gingerbread to not break my teeth when I eat. Seriously, what is with that super hard gingerbread? If you like it, you have to comment and explain why, because as far as I can tell, that stuff is better as holiday decor than it is an edible foodstuff.

These gingerbread cookies, on the other hand, retain some nice tenderness in the center, although if you prefer a crisper cookie, you can roll them out a bit thinner. They are spicy without being overwhelming, and the lemon in the icing makes the ginger flavor pop. The icing elevates the cookies from "questionably not sweet enough" to a perfect level of sweetness.

You may look at my photos and wonder, why not make gingerbread people, Katie? Well, thank you for asking. Because when you use those little gingerbread men cutouts, people expect you to put faces and eyes and buttons and that's a lot of work. With stars, you can drizzle the icing over haphazardly, and it looks artistic. Yes, despite having a food blog, I am incredibly lazy about decorating baked goods.

gingerbread stars

vegan gingerbread cookies with lemon icing
adapted from Food52

Because coconut oil is firmer than butter at room temperature, this dough needs to be a bit warmer to roll out without it crumbling. I recommend working it with your hands a bit until it doesn't crumble on you. You can freeze it just fine, though; it thaws remarkably quickly in the fridge.

2 2/3 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup white or coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond, soy, or rice milk (I used almond)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the molasses, oil, sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, until combined.

Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight; or freeze for up to a month.

When ready to roll out the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the dough until it's a little less than 1/4" thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out dough shapes, and place on the cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, or until the cookies are just browning around the edges. Remove cookies to cool on a wire rack and let cool completely.

To make the icing, place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add lemon juice 1-2 teaspoons at a time, whisking after each addition, adding juice until the icing is just spreadable. Either spread on the cookies or use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cookies.

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