Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dairy-free Ginger Snaps - Virtual Cookie Exchange

My friend Di hosts an annual "virtual cookie exchange" with a bunch of bloggers. She was awesome enough to include me even though I'm not a food blogger. I do enjoy baking occasionally as a project with T.

One of the things on our Holiday Fun List was to make and decorate Christmas cookies. Originally my plan was to make these awesome sugar cookies.  But when I woke up this morning I just wasn't feeling it - the whole "process" of making the dough, chilling it, rolling, cutting, making royal icing, and only THEN doing the fun decorating was more than we could do in a day.

So I turned to a recipe that has not failed me yet. I discovered it when looking for dairy-free cookies due to T's allergy. You'd never guess they don't have butter in them, and it's super easy to mix and make.  With minimal effort they look really nice, and we made them more festive by rolling them in colored natural sugar sprinkles.

As per the comments on the recipe online, we made a few changes so I've included the recipe below.

Mama's Ginger Snaps (adapted from Elaine at, makes about 3 dozen)

1c packed brown sugar
3/4c canola oil
1/4c blackstrap molasses
1 large organic egg
2c all purpose flour
2tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
2.5 tsp ground cinnamon
2.5 tsp ground ginger
various sugars (colored and white) for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In stand mixer bowl, mix brown sugar, oil, molasses, and egg until the sugar is dissolved.
3. In separate large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Pour this into the molasses mixture.
4. Mix with the stand mixer until well-combined. The dough will look shiny and feel sticky.  
5. Cool mixer bowl with dough in fridge for about 30 minutes (or 15 minutes in the freezer) to make it easier to work with.
6. Using your fingers, make 1 inch balls and dip the tops into colored sugar.  Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet with 3-4 inches between each one (they spread out).

7.  Bake 11 minutes in preheated oven - they'll be a little soft when they come out.
8. Transfer to wire racks after a minute or two to cool further.

These are easy to make, but also easy to overcook. You may have to adjust based on your own oven, but it's better to undercook them as they'll get firmer when they cool. 

It's a great recipe to make with older toddlers - at age 3, T was able to dip the dough balls in the sugar and hand them to me to put on the cookie sheet without squishing them too much.  She also dumped all the ingredients into the bowls after I measured them out, and stirred the dry ingredients together.

if you look closely,
you'll see a dog nose next to the cookie.

They look very festive with the colored sugar. I wish we had done more with mixed colors - those look pretty cool, too. This recipe is definitely a keeper!


  1. Yay! I'm so glad you guys were able to participate. I love the colored sugar--I use it for decorating some cookies, but hadn't thought to use it for cookies like these. I know what you mean about the mixing--I tend to decorate with one color at a time, while my girls come up with all sorts of great combinations.

  2. Yum. I made a totally vegan ginger cookie one time and loved it. Can't find it anymore though, will try these. They look great in the sugar. I am a big fan of slightly underdone ginger cookies..

  3. The colored sugar looks so pretty on the ginger snaps. I love the photo of your daughter and your dog's nose - so cute!

  4. You're really getting the hang of photo taking. You've got the "eye". And T is so darn cute...


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