Bring on the vegan Christmas cookies!
I am starting my cookie baking early so I don’t have to worry about it closer to Christmas. Last weekend, I decided it was the day to begin cookie making. I flipped through a few of my picks. I was missing more than a few ingredients.
I really wanted to veganize my yummy Cinnamon Snaps but didn’t have any regular molasses. I contemplated doing a trial round replacing it with blackstrap molasses but chickened out. I listened to my own advice: Don’t substitute blackstrap molasses for molasses, especially in sweet desserts.
In my list of 11 ways to use blackstrap molasses, I list quite a few cookies with blackstrap molasses. Barring Sarah B’s Healthy Holiday Gingerbread Cookies most did not use a lot of blackstrap molasses. So when I spotted this recipe in Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking that called for 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses, I was curious. High in calcium and iron, blackstrap molasses could be considered a healthy sweetener, albeit a very bitter sweetener, and I wanted to know how they would taste.
Turns out they were great. The intensity of blackstrap molasses was detected as an aftertaste but not in a bad way. The cookies were great. The sugar coating helped to tame the bitterness with the direct hit of sugar (and also lent to prettier cookies). With the addition of cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg, this was very reminiscent of a gingerbread crinkle cookie. Definitely a success. In retrospect, the base ingredients looked very similar to the cinnamon snaps but with the applesauce replacing the egg. I still plan on making them, too, as a comparison, but only after I get some molasses.
I am looking forward to making a bunch of vegan cookies this Christmas. Which ones are your favourite?
Blackstrap Molasses Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking
3/4 cup vegan shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp applesauce (I used salted caramel pear butter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup raw granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or a silicone mat.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and applesauce. I used my standmixer.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and salt.
5. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and cream together until it is evenly combined. I continued to use my standmixer.
6. Place raw sugar into a small bowl.
7. Using your hands, roll dough into 1-tbsp sized balls. Flatten slightly and press one flat side into the sugar.
8. Place cookie with the sugar side up on the lined baking trays, separating the cookies by 2″. Continue with the remainder of the cookies.
9. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes, or until a little dry. Once you remove the cookies from the oven, immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 24-30 cookies, depending on the size of your cookies.