Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies - vegan

I haven't been feeling terribly Christmas-y this year. I'm not sure why. Part of it may be that I'm not working any sort of retail or restaurant job this year, which has often been the case. Part of it may be that in the Pacific Northwest it doesn't really snow. Part of it may be that Mr Official Taster's and my life is somewhat complicated and in upheaval at the moment (more on that later).

Whatever the case may be, today it finally began to dawn on me that Christmas is on Sunday. And that we will be hosting six additional people for the holiday. And that we haven't done much, with the exception of finding gifts, to prepare for those people. Menu? vague. Cleaning? er, not yet. Figuring out how we're going to fit all of them? inconclusive.

But gingerbread men always taste and smell like Christmas. I think they may be Mr Official Taster's favorite cookie - unless it's snickerdoodles - and he would eat them every week of the year. If only I would make them every week of the year.

Parents and sisters: I can't wait to see you! There may or may not be any of these guys left. Odds are pretty low. Maybe you can make this poor guy feel better. He gets excited every time the work "cookie" gets mentioned, which, this week, is kind of a lot.

Gingerbread Cookies - vegan
adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking

1/2 C vegan butter, room temperature
3/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer (equal to 1 egg)
2/3 C molasses
3 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg replacer and molasses and beat for another minute or so. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Beat until you have a smooth dough. You may need to add up to 4 tablespoons of water to get the right consistency.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight.

When you're ready to make the cookies, remove one dough package from the fridge, and while it warms slightly, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately 1/4 inch. Cut out as many cookies as possible and transfer them to the cookie sheet. Re-roll remaining dough, cut out cookies, and repeat until you've used it all. If the dough starts to get too sticky to work with, put it back in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 350F. Refrigerate cookie sheets with cookies while your oven warms up. This will help them keep their shape. Bake them for 10-15 minutes, depending how crunchy you like your gingerbread. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling.

To Frost:
In a small bowl, stir together some confectioners sugar and non-dairy milk, water, or juice. Start with a very small amount of liquid and gradually increase until you reach your desired consistency. Use a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off to decorate as you please. If you just want to slather on as much frosting as possible, might as well just use a spoon.

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