HC UVic's Holiday Cookies

With Christmas coming up and pumpkin spice becoming a bit worn out, I came up with two recipes that will help get you ready for the Christmas season! These recipes are vegan and can be made last minute for a Christmas potluck party, to help you cope through final exam season, or given as a gift to your friends and family.  

 

VEGAN PEPPERMINT MOCHA COOKIES 

This first is based on the chocolate crinkle cookies I have made since I was a little girl. With just a few simple alterations to the recipe result in a subtly minty, espresso-flavoured cookie that doesn’t overwhelm your palette. 

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes 

Approximate total time: 30 minutes 

Yield: 36 cookies

 

Ingredients: 

1 cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup vegetable oil (canola, olive, sunflower)

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

⅓ cup almond milk (unsweetened and unflavoured preferred)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon dark espresso powder

1 ¼ cups flour

½ cup cocoa powder

⅞ teaspoon baking powder 

¼ teaspoon salt 

⅓ cup crushed candy canes to decorate or ½ cup powdered sugar for rolling.

2-3 tablespoons finely chopped dark chocolate (optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. In a large bowl and with a wooden spoon, mix the vegetable oil and sugar together well. 

  3. Next, add the ground flax seeds and mix. 

  • For added depth, add finely chopped dark chocolate.

  1. Add wet ingredients (almond milk, vanilla and peppermint) and mix until combined. 

  2. Sift the rest of the dry ingredients into the bowl to ensure there are no clumps and mix until it becomes a thick dough. Once complete, you should be able to form the dough into balls. 

  3. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll the tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. 

  • At this stage, you may either decorate these cookies with the crushed candy canes OR roll the balls in powdered sugar so that they look like snowballs. For more mint flavour and a bit of crunch, go with the candy canes. If you want a snowy, classic crinkle look, stick to the powdered sugar. 

     4. Place the balls about 1.5-2 inches apart on the baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on your oven. Once a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out dry, the cookies are done baking.

  •  If you opted to coat the cookies in candy cane, you can either put ¼ cup crushed candy canes in a bowl and dip one side of the hot cookie in for a festive look or sprinkle some on top while the cookies are still hot, so the candy will stick. Alternatively, melt some white or dark chocolate and dip one half of the cookie into the melted chocolate and then into the candy canes for an extra decadent look and taste. 

      5. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to five days. 

 

GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES

These ginger molasses cookies are a holiday favourite and it is an easy recipe that yields a lot of cookies. If you’re not fully committed to delving into gingerbread house making yet, but are still craving that festive flavour, this is the perfect recipe for you. 

Prep time: 10-20 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes 

Approximate total time: 30 minutes 

Yield: 48 small cookies

 

Ingredients:

1 cup vegan butter, softened 

1 ½ cups brown sugar 

½ cup + 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses 

¾ tablespoon vanilla 

3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 

*When measuring, make sure to level with a knife, a bit too much flour can really       change the consistency of this dough

1 tablespoon baking soda 

½ teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup granulated sugar, for rolling 

 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar to a creamy consistency. Pour in the blackstrap molasses and vanilla. Mix until fully combined. 

  3. Next, add the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. 

  4. Slowly add in the flour, mixing until combined before adding more flour. The dough should be thick, but not overly dry. 

  5. Put granulated sugar in a small bowl for rolling. 

  6. With a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. If you want bigger cookies, use 2 tablespoons of dough. Roll the balls in sugar, making sure they are fully coated. 

  7. Place on baking sheets with at least an inch of space between the cookies and bake for 10-12 minutes. These cookies come out looking very soft, but don’t put them back in the oven as they become much firmer after cooling off. If you bake them longer, they will be quite crispy. 

  8. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.