7 Vegan Christmas Cookies to Serve Santa This Year

In this day and age, cooking and baking for a crowd isn’t as easy as it once was. With allergies and dietary restrictions, it’s difficult to discern who can eat what and who chooses to eat what, and it’s up to you to not offend anyone. This presents a particular problem with holiday baking: No one wants to have to pass on the Christmas cookies, but it’s also hard to serve batches and batches of treats that appeal to everyone.

The good thing about vegan baking is that a lot of the time, it yields a product that doesn’t taste egg- and dairy-free, so vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy the sweet treats. Here are seven vegan recipes you should consider baking this year for your big and little Santas, regardless of how they eat. This way, you won’t have to make a number of different cookie batches for a number of different eaters, and everyone can go to bed happy.

Source: iStock

1. Vegan Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are the quintessential Christmas cookies, and with this recipe from Minimalist Baker, they can be made vegan and in just one bowl. Enlisting nondairy milk (like almond milk), vegan butter, pumpkin puree, cornstarch, and a handful of other baking staples, this recipe yields a batch of cookies that no one will be able to resist, especially when topped with vegan frosting.

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • ½ cup vegan butter, softened
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar, and more for topping
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons nondairy milk

Frosting

  • ½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter, softened
  • 2½ to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Splash nondairy milk

Directions: Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and beat for 1 minute. Set your sifter over something that will catch fallout and add dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and baking powder). Use a spoon to briefly stir, then sift over butter and sugar mixture. Mix until until incorporated, being careful not to over-mix. Then add almond milk and mix until a soft dough is formed. Switch to a wooden spoon if it gets too thick. If it appears too wet, mix in a bit more flour. Cover and freeze dough for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Scoop out heaping 1-tablespoon amounts of chilled dough and roll into balls. Arrange cookies on a clean baking sheet 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. If you’ve rolled the dough into balls, dip a glass into cane sugar and gently smash down into a disc to help them cook more evenly. Bake on the center rack for 10 to 12 minutes (8 to 10 for cutout shapes), or until very slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest on pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Prepare frosting.

For frosting — Clean your mixing bowl clean and add softened butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Then, add vanilla and mix once more. Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy. Drizzle in a little nondairy milk to thin. Once cooled, frost cookies and top with sprinkles.

Source: iStock

2. Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This next cookie recipe from Oh She Glows is also vegan, and can also be made in one bowl. What’s more, these cookies are nut and gluten-free, so you really don’t have to worry about dietary restrictions when you serve these to your guests at your holiday party.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed butter
  • ⅓ cup unpacked brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats, processed into flour
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons nondairy milk
  • 100 grams finely chopped dark chocolate

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flax and water, and set aside for a few minutes so it can thicken up. Whisk the flax egg again once thickened. Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flax egg. With a handheld electric mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and smooth.

Beat in the dry ingredients, one by one, in the order they are listed on the list. If your dough is a bit dry, add a teaspoon of nondairy milk and beat the mixture again. Finely chop the chocolate. Beat the chocolate into the batter. Shape balls of dough and place on the baking sheet 2 to 3 inches apart. Bake for about 12 to 13 minutes, until the cookies are spread out. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 7 minutes.

Source: iStock

3. Peanut Butter Cookies

Staying in the gluten-free and vegan department, we come to these Peanut Butter Cookies from Blissful Basil. They’re the perfectly (naturally) sweet treats to serve to Santa, and they only require 7 ingredients, one of them being water.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and brown sugar for 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. While beating the peanut butter mixture, slowly add in the oat flour mixture and beat until a crumby dough forms. Add in the water and continue to beat until distributed. Do not over-mix.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls, drop on parchment paper, and flatten with a fork one way and then the other to create a crisscross pattern. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden on edges.

Source: iStock

4. Vegan Ginger Cookies

Did you know gingersnaps can be made vegan, too? It’s true. Check out this recipe highlighted by Food.com and developed by Kimke, and see for yourself. The two star ingredients of gingersnaps — molasses and ginger — are still present in this iteration, as are the normal baking staples, barring only milk and butter.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons coarse sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ tablespoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Sift dry ingredients (except sugar) into a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients, including sugar, and whisk or beat on medium until blended. Stir in the pre-sifted dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Roll the dough into little balls and flatten.

Press the coarse sugar onto the tops of the cookies and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a greased cookie sheet.

Source: iStock

5. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just in case your Santa is a chocolate chip fan, save this formula in your recipe arsenal for the best vegan chocolate chip cookies from Taste of Home. They’ll fool even the purist chocolate chip cookie eaters — what they don’t know can’t hurt them.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons vanilla soy milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions: In a large bowl, beat the first six ingredients until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks.

Source: iStock

6. Vegan Butterscotch Cookies

Next up are these Vegan Butterscotch Cookies from She KnowsThese cookies will be gone before they even hit the plate, but luckily, this recipe makes 24 servings — so there should be some left over for Santa. With this sweet formula, chocolate chips are swapped out and butterscotch chips are swapped in. Nuts and vegan butter play a role, as do oats, brown sugar, and whole-wheat flour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats, coarsely ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups vegan butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together flax and water. Set aside for 5 minutes or until thickened. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until combined. Beat in flax mixture and vanilla.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips and walnuts. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets, spacing dough about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are set.

Source: iStock

7. Frosted Eggnog Cookies

Last but certainly not least are these Frosted Eggnog Cookies from Half Full. ‘Tis the season for eggnog, after all — get it while it’s cold. If you’ve never tasted vegan eggnog varieties, now is the time, and these cookies are the perfect vehicles for it. Even if you don’t like the beverage on its own, we can guarantee you’ll like it in these sweet desserts.

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup vegan margarine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons egg replacer powder mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut milk eggnog or soy milk eggnog

Frosting

  • ½ cup vegan margarine
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons eggnog
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugars with a fork until fluffy. Whisk in the egg replacer, vanilla and eggnog. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and spices and mix until combined. Scoop out the cookie dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls before flattening onto the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the frosting by combining the ingredients in a food processor. Start with 3 tablespoons of eggnog and add more as needed until the frosting is thick and creamy. Once the cookies are completely cool, frost generously and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

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