Ginger, Spice, & Everything Nice

by Heather

A couple of weeks ago the Junior League kicked off the season with a holiday leadership social, complete with mashed potato bar, bacon wrapped pretzel sticks, and asparagus filled phyllo pockets. But the best part? The sweets room.

christmas cookie recipes

All of the members of the exec team baked up a batch of their favorite Christmas goodies- and shared the recipes. Wedding cookies, crack rock {you know it- the magical creation that occurs when saltines are covered in butter and sugar}, peanut butter bars, snickerdoodles, peppermint bark, and more.

I’ve never been a huge gingerbread cookie fan- I love the intense zing of gingerbread snaps but don’t care for how hard they are; I love the appearance and holiday festiveness of cutout gingerbread cookies, but they tend to be lacking in flavor.

cookies in front of christmas tree

But since I’m an equal-opportunist sweets taster, I decided to try one of the gingerbread cookies. Based on my past experiences, I don’t think gingerbread was the right word- they were tangy and bursting with sharp ginger flavor, with a slight bite on the outside, and a chewy, divine center. Little bit of candied ginger popped up every few bites, taking the generic ginger cookie to a whole new level.

ginger cookies

So while I had every intention of coming home and making endless batches of saltine cookies, I somehow ended up with the gingerbread cookie recipe in front of me instead.

cookie recipe collectionrecipe swap holiday cookies

I never leave well enough alone, so of course I had to make the recipe my own. I upped the whole grain content, veganized it, and pumped up the ginger flavor. The end result? Amazing. Crunchy, sugary outside; soft, chewy inside.

ginger spice cookie recipeeasy gingerbread recipe

gingerbread cookies

Because cookies {like all baked goods really} taste exponentially better fresh out of the oven, I baked half of the dough and left the rest in the refrigerator so I could have another fresh batch as soon as the first ran out.

ginger cookies recipe

Let’s just say that didn’t take too long.

vegan gingerbread cookies

The secret ingredient that donates a intense richness to these cookies? Sesame oil. The balance of spicy ginger and toasted sesame oil make for a combination you can’t stop eating.

ginger cookie recipe

Serve these cookies to Santa and he won’t be in any hurry to leave. Winking smile

gingerbread cookies recipe

Ginger Cookies
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1/2 cup non-dairy butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces candied ginger, chopped {optional}


  1. Combine chia and water; let sit for ~5 minutes. {You can also use flax.}
  2. Cream together butter and sugars. Add oil, molasses and chia mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except candied ginger.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture to butter & sugar, mixing just until combined.
  5. If using, gently stir in candied ginger chunks.
  6. Dough will be slightly crumbly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  7. Once chilled, roll dough into 1 inch balls.
  8. Roll in granulated sugar, then place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake 10 minutes at 375.

What’s your favorite holiday cookie?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers December 20, 2011 at 8:52 am
Oh my... those look fabulous. I too really like ginger cookies, but the hard little men can be too hard or too flavorless. I think my favorite holiday cookie is just a thick, soft, chewy, and decorated sugar cookie. (Yes - it has to be decorated.) Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers Just blogged...Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
Heather December 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm
Everything's better decorated. ;)
Anne December 20, 2011 at 9:00 am
I usually make gingerbread cut outs to decorate, but for the sake of simplicity, these soft cookies look perfect! Thanks for sharing :)
Ali @SeeAliEatSeeAliRun December 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm
I have a recipe for white chocolate chip pistachio cookies that's always a crowd pleaser!
Heather December 20, 2011 at 8:14 pm
Mmm pistachio cookies- I bet those are delicious!
Melissa December 21, 2011 at 10:11 am
These sound AMAZING, and I'm really grateful that you've already veganized the recipe! I'm definitely going to give them a try this weekend! Melissa Just blogged...What’s New Wednesday: A Few Little Things
Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama December 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Sounds delicious! I would never have thought of the sesame oil! Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama Just blogged...Wordless Wednesday: Santa’s Ride – Wayland Firefighters (LINKY)
JDaniel4's Mom December 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm
These really look and sounds amazing! JDaniel4's Mom Just blogged...Is it Santa's birthday too?
Brenna @ Almost All The Truth December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Well, I shouldn't have let baby girl sit with me while looking at this post. Guess we'll be making some soon. ;) Brenna @ Almost All The Truth Just blogged...Guest Post: Three Books to Promote Healthy Eating
Laura December 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm
Yum! I've been craving gingerbread cookies this year and haven't been able to find them anywhere in Mexico City. Love that this recipe is vegan-friendly, definitely going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! :) Laura Just blogged...Christmas night markets in Roma and Doctores
Sandra December 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm
Thank you so much for the recipe. I just ate two of my gingerbread cookies, and oh my, they are so delicious! I want to surprise my husband since these ones are his favorites. I'm sure he'll love them. Thanks a bunch again!

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