I made these cookies almost a month ago but I thought it was too early to begin with the Christmas recipes but now that december is finally here I think I'm officially 'allowed' to do it. Side note: I can't believe we've already entered the last month of the year, feels like it was yesterday when I was baking my Cashew Apple Pie. *sigh*
I wouldn't mind to nibble a pair of these gingerbread cookies right now, while I'm typing this post all wrapped up in my blanket and drinking a star anise tea. But I just came back from doing some xmas shopping and didn't have any luck at all (panic!) and it's almost dinner time, too late and too tired to bake cookies.
This a fun recipe cause you can play with different cutters and they look so cute and festive they don't need much decoration, just a bit of confectioner's sugar or nothing at all if you wanna go for a more minimalist-cool look. :-p
Anyways, I fancied them up a lil bit for the pictures with a simple icing: simply stir together with a fork 1/2 a cup of confectioner's sugar with 1/2 tablespoon of milk. Add more milk or sugar depending on the thickness you are looking for. To make a pipeable icing you will probably need to add more sugar, but I've found out that it also depends on the brand of confectioner's sugar.
The smell in the house when these cuties are in the oven is ah-mazing! Everyone will suddenly show up in the kitchen once you place them in the cooling rack.
What kind of Christmas dessert could I make next time? Hmmm, seems I can't make up my mind yet...but must decide soon cause the holidays are so close! Something chocolaty, something more traditional...let me know what are you planning to cook for xmas! I need some inspiration guys!
Gingerbread Christmas Cookies
(yield: 24 cookies approx. Depending on the size of the cutters)
1/2 cup mild-tasting olive oil (or sunflower oil).
1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar.
1/2 cup molasses.
1/2 cup soy or almond milk.
2 cups all-purpose flour.
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour.
2 tbsp maca powder.*
1 tsp baking powder.
1 tsp baking soda.
1 tsp salt.
1 tsp ground cinnamon.
1 tsp ground nutmeg.
1/2 tsp vanilla powder.
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger.
- To decorate:
Basic sugar icing (see instructions in the text above 'Ingredients').
* The maca powder is totally optional. I like to give an extra nutritional kick to my recipes so I decided to replace two tablespoons of the whole wheat flour for the same amount of maca powder.
In a large mixing bowl beat together the sugar and oil until the sugar resembles wet sand, around 1 minute. Add in the molasses and milk (I recommend soy or almond milk), whisk everything by hand with a wire whisk.
In a separate bowl sift in the flours and add the rest of the dry ingredients (baking powder, soda, salt, spices and -if using- maca powder). Add this dry mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients and, using a large wooden spoon, mix well until a thick and compact dough forms.
Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a little more than 0.5 cm. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters and use a thin spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to two lined baking sheets.
Let the cookies sit in the fridge again for 5 minutes approximately.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF).
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size you chose (for example, a big snowflake will need a couple more minutes than a regular size gingerbread man). Keep an eye on your cookies cause these are usually rather thin and the bottoms brown quickly.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack before icing or dusting them with powdered sugar.