Disclosure: This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
I cannot believe it’s almost December… Although the weather outside certainly seems to suggest it’s well on it’s way.
So if you haven’t got an advent calendar yet, you might want to consider this idea: Gingerbread Advent Cookies!
They’re delicious, super fun to make (and easy for kid’s to get involved in too) plus it guarantees you will get to eat a gingerbread cookie every day of December. Sounds good, right?
Now, I’m not suggesting you make these INSTEAD of buying a chocolate advent calendar, I’m suggesting you have both. Both gingerbread and chocolate.
This recipe makes rather a lot of gingerbread dough, enough to get 25 decent-sized gingerbreads out of it (plus extra for snacking and mishaps) so if you’re just making this as a treat and not for advent, I would suggest halving the recipe.
I picked up all my ingredients at Sainsburys and they’re all easy to find and fairly inexpensive too!
My favourite dairy-free butter is this spread by Vitalite which I think is the closest tasting to real butter I’ve found. You can find it in Sainsburys, Tesco & Morrisons. If you’re in the US, I’ve heard Earth Balance Buttery Spread is a good choice too.
The rest of the ingredients can be found at any supermarket. Including a rather unusual ingredient, you might spot… A tin of chickpeas!
Don’t worry, I haven’t put chickpeas in the gingerbread. But the juice from the tin of chickpeas is what we need to make the royal icing. If you’ve not heard about aquafaba (that’s what the chickpea water is called) then you can read more about it here and how it makes an incredible egg white replacement, particularly in baking.
So how do these cookies become an “advent calendar”?
Well, that’s up to you. A few ideas include:
- Make them into Christmas tree decorations. Poke a hole in the tops, tie with some string and hang on the tree, taking one off and eating it every day! The biscuits keep surprisingly well, although they will become harder and crispier the longer they’re out.
- Make them into a bunting string. You can either make a long line of the cookies to hang on the wall, or a zig-zag decoration.
- Simply keep them all in a tin and every day search for the right date. This way is best for keeping the cookies fresh!
The soft texture and warming taste of these gingerbread cookies are so wonderful and really are just like the traditional ones!
These cookies are:
[li]Nut-free (Make sure all ingredients are made in nut-free environment)[/li]
- 300 g 1 1/3 cups vegan butter / spread
- 240 g / 1 1/3 cups dark muscavado sugar
- 120 g / 1/3 cup golden syrup
- 750 g / 6 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
For the vegan royal icing
- 4 tbsp aquafaba, liquid from a can of chickpeas
- 250 g / 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan, gently melt together the vegan butter, the sugar and the golden syrup.
- In a large mixing bowl, sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Pour in the melted vegan butter and sugar and mix until it forms a soft dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170C / 340F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Lightly dust your surface with flour and roll out the dough to about ½ cm thickness. Cut out your cookie shapes and transfer to the baking tray. Use a straw to poke holes into the tops of each cookie. Keep in mind that the gingerbread dough will expand in the oven so leave enough room between each cookie.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Once baked, leave to cool completely whilst you prepare the icing.
To make the royal icing
- Whisk the chickpea water with an electric mixer until foamy and then add the sugar in slowly until the mixture is thick and glossy. It should be firm enough to pipe with but should still slowly drizzle off the back of a spoon.
- Transfer the icing to a piping back with a small nozzle. Pipe the numbers 1 - 25 onto the cookies and any other decorative elements you choose.
- Leave to set for at least an hour or overnight. The icing should be hard to the touch.
- Use to make Christmas tree decorations or bunting! The gingerbread cookies are good for a few weeks but last best in an air-tight container.