Is there anything more festive than gingerbread cookies? Okay, I guess, sitting by the fireplace and singing Christmas carols, opening presents under the Christmas tree, and sitting on a pervy Santa's lap in the town mall could qualify as "more festive" than gingerbread cookies. But, this isn't a competition, okay? It's the holidays!
If you'd rather not hear me ramble about what counts as festive, check out the recipe video over on my Youtube channel.
While gingerbread men (and women) are certainly the most adorable holiday cookie, they often come out of the oven hard and crunchy. And let's be honest, it always feels a little awkward when you are eating a human-shaped cookie and you hear a bunch of cracking and crunching as you chew on said human cookie. Plus, nobody likes crunchy, hard cookies, no matter how sternly they profess their love for hard cookies. AND, making gingerbread cookies this way is so much easier and requires way less work because you don't have to roll out any dough or use cookie cutters. Have I given you enough reasons why soft, chewy gingerbread cookies are far superior to gingerbread people?
Normally, I would use vegan butter for this recipe, but I've gotten several requests on Youtube and Instagram to make some oil-free recipes, so here's a start! The secret to getting soft, chewy cookies without using any butter or oil: coconut butter! I know, coconut butter sounds like's made of butter, but it's made with just coconut flesh!
This recipe started out as gingerbread cookies, but then I thought, wouldn't it be cool to smoosh two cookies together into a sandwich? Enter the gingerbread whoopie pie featuring a sweet creamy frosting wedged between two gingerbread cookies.
The creamy filling for the whoopie is also oil-free and made with my star ingredient coconut butter! If you haven't tried coconut butter yet, you need to change that. It's so delicious that you can eat it by the spoon. It's also great in baked goods (i.e., in these cookies) or drizzled warm over oatmeal or pancakes.
I hope you have a wonderfully festive holiday this year, whether you sit on Santa's lap or bake gingerbread cookies (hopefully, you're doing the latter).
Soft, Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan and Oil-Free)
The name of this recipe speaks for itself. These gingerbread cookies are the kind you dream about: soft and pillowy yet with a chewy bite. No hard or brittle gingerbread cookies here. This recipe is also oil-free for anyone who follows an oil-free diet! And it couldn't be easier. Just mix the dry and wet ingredients, dollop the dough onto a baking sheet, and bake for a mere 10 minutes. And while the cookies are baking, make the whoopie pie filling by simply tossing a few ingredients into your food processor.
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 flax egg*
- 3/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1 cup organic granulated sugar + more for dipping
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 coconut butter, melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Mix 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 2 1/2 tablespoons water and let stand for 15 minutes to thicken)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (flour through baking powder).
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix the molasses,, granulated sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut butter, applesauce and vanilla extract until well combined. Fold in the flax egg with a rubber spatula.
- Working in four batches, gradually beat the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Switch to a wooden spoon once the mixture gets too thick.
- Using a tablespoon, roll the dough into small balls and place onto parchment-lined baking trays. Sprinkle some granulated sugar onto each cookie, then flatten slightly with your fingers.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
WHOOPIE PIE FROSTING
- 1 cup coconut butter
- ⅓ cup agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- In a blender, combine the coconut butter with agave and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
- Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the icing reaches your desired consistency.
- Store in the fridge to harden up a little bit (optional).