Vegan gingersnaps or ginger nuts are a typical Christmas cookie/biscuit, and these were developed to taste and feel like traditional (gran’s) gingersnaps but with different ingredients like olive oil and spelt flour. Crunchy and spicy, they’re just right for the cookie jar.
Olive oil cookies are a dream, especially here with the slightly grassy flavour combination alongside spicy ginger and cinnamon. Coconut sugar adds the caramel flavour and colour – no molasses here – and a touch of hazelnut (or almond) meal gives a hint of nuttiness. It’s an all around excellent cookie.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Crunchy and very slightly chewy in the middle, it’s the perfect gingersnap made a bit more modern. These are ready in just a few minutes with no chilling time needed.
- It’s a one-bowl recipe: no need for extra dishes, as everything is mixed in the same bowl, and you don’t even have to sift the dry ingredients.
- They store well: crunchy cookies are generally a better cookie jar option, and these are no exception. They taste just as good several days after baking.
- They’re ready in 20 minutes: from mixing to baking, the cookies can be finished in a few minutes. They should cool fully before serving, though.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Spelt flour: as usual, plain flour can be used in place of spelt if preferred. I haven’t tried these with gluten-free flour.
- Coconut sugar: I haven’t tested these with other sugar types and wouldn’t recommend subbing it for something else.
- Spices: change up the spices as you like. Cloves or cardamom are a nice addition. I find that the ground ginger available in Sweden is a bit different, much stronger, so I reduce it to 1 1/2 teaspoons here.
- Hazelnut meal: you can substitute almond meal if hazelnut isn’t available. For a nut-free substitution, grind sunflower seeds into meal with a food processor (the cookies may turn green if using sunflower seeds). Don’t use almond flour, it’s too fine.
Step by Step
1. Whisk the olive oil, water, and vanilla with the coconut sugar.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough forms.
3. Form into 16 equal balls of dough and place on a lined baking sheet. Press slightly to flatten each ball.
4. Bake for about ten minutes and cool fully before serving.
These will seem a bit soft when they first come out of the oven, but they will crisp up as they cool. They’re meant to be crunchy and I don’t recommend under-baking them to get a chewy centre – use a different recipe for chewy cookies.
The dough can be frozen in individual cookies. Roll into balls, flatten slightly, then freeze on a tray. Once frozen, place into an airtight container. Bake from frozen, adding an extra two minutes to the baking time. I usually make about ten fresh and freeze a few extra for later.
How to Store
Storage: these will keep well for several days in a sealed container at room temperature. If they start to soften due to humidity, place a tea towel in the container to absorb any extra moisture.
Freezing: place the cooled cookies in an airtight container and freeze for up to six months.
- Follow the order: the sugar must be mixed into the oil, not the dry ingredients, to get the proper spread and crackled texture on the cookies.
- Don’t forget to flatten: while the cookies will spread even if not flattened, doing so ensures a more even cookie.
- Make your own hazelnut meal: you can easily make it with raw hazelnuts in a food processor, blending until a fine meal forms. Don’t take it too far or you’ll have hazelnut butter.
- Roast the nuts: if you want a more nutty flavour, roast the nuts at 150°C for about ten minutes before cooling and blending into meal.
More Holiday Cookies
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- 60 ml olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150 grams coconut sugar
- 150 grams light spelt flour
- 50 grams hazelnut meal
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, water, and vanilla. Add the sugar and whisk to combine.60 ml olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 150 grams coconut sugar
- Add the flour, hazelnut meal, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt to the olive oil mixture. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until a stiff dough forms.150 grams light spelt flour, 50 grams hazelnut meal, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Roll 16 equally sized balls of dough and place onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 3cm space between each. Press the balls lightly with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly.
- Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes, or until crackled on top and the edges feel slightly firm to the touch. Cool for about five minutes before removing the cookies from the baking sheet and cooling fully on a wire rack. They will be soft when still warm but crunchy when cool.
- Store cooled cookies in a jar or container at room temperature for several days.