We’re now firmly in holiday season, and people across the country will be in planning mode for the big day. If you’re looking for some fun activities to do with the family for Christmas (or whatever holiday you’re celebrating), baking together is a great shout. And Christmas baking ideas don’t get much better than these vegan cinnamon star cookies.
Christmas baking is a hugely popular tradition in many households, celebrated as a fun and engaging family activity. It involves creating various festive treats such as cookies, pies, gingerbread houses, and fruitcakes, often featuring flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and peppermint. Christmas baking is more than just preparing food; it’s popular for the fact that it’s a communal experience that the whole family can enjoy.
In many households, Christmas baking is a collaborative effort, engaging all family members, from the youngest to the oldest, in tasks like mixing dough, shaping cookies, and decorating gingerbread houses. The process of baking and the subsequent sharing of these treats with family, friends, and community members are integral to holiday gatherings and celebrations.
If gingerbread houses are a bit advanced for your family, there are plenty of simple Christmas baking recipes you can do. This particular recipe, which comes from Romy London, shows you how to make vegan Christmas cookies shaped like stars.
Why cinnamon is used in this recipe
Cinnamon is a hugely popular spice, which features in many Christmas baking recipes. It’s popular for its distinctive warm, sweet, and woody aroma. Besides its culinary uses, cinnamon has been historically valued in traditional medicine and as a preservative due to its antibacterial properties.
During Christmas time, cinnamon is particularly prominent due to its association with traditional holiday flavors and foods. It is a key ingredient in many Christmas recipes, including mulled wine, gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and cinnamon rolls. The spice’s warm and comforting aroma is thought to evoke a sense of coziness and festivity, aligning with the overall ambiance of the holiday season.
Making cookies vegan
These Christmas cookies don’t contain any animal products at all, using plant-based ingredients in their place. Baked sweet treats typically rely on a variety of animal-based foods, notably dairy and eggs. Christmas cookie recipes often involve butter and eggs, but it’s perfectly easy to make them without these.
Rather than an egg base, they have a base of almonds and hazelnut, which are complemented well by the cinnamon and lemon juice.
Vegan baking is seeing a huge rise in popularity, with many people opting not to use animal products over ethical, environmental, and health concerns. The dairy and egg industries are both regarded as cruel, and animals are well-documented to suffer in them. With the rising prevalence of veganism and dairy and egg-free diets, there are plenty of vegan Christmas baking recipes to try.
Here’s how to make these vegan cinnamon star cookies.
Vegan cinnamon star cookies
For the cookies
- 200 g powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 8 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 150 g ground almonds
- 200 g ground hazelnuts
For the coating
- Icing sugar
- A little water or soy milk
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the cookies. The dough should be firm and a little sticky, but you should be able to handle it with your hands. If it's appearing a little too wet, simply add in a little more powdered sugar.
- On a non-stick surface roll out the dough to about 1cm thickness. Ideally use a baking sheet or baking mat – or kitchen foil, so that you can easily remove the cutouts from the surface afterward.
- Use a small star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the stars. Gently place them on a separate baking sheet and let them dry for about 4 hours. This step is important so that they firm up in their shape before being baked – if you skip this step, they might crumble.
- Once the 4 hours have elapsed, place the cookies in the preheated oven at 250 degrees for 3-5 minutes. This is a hot and quick baking process. Keep an eye on the cookies to ensure not to burn the corners of the stars.
- Place the stars on a cooling rack and prepare the coating by combining 5 Tbsp of powdered sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 water (or plant milk). Add in little drops of liquid whilst stirring until you get a smooth paste. If you run out of the coating, create a little more. The amount you need varies depending on how big your stars are and how many you cut out.
- Gently coat the cookies by either dipping them into the coating mixture or piping the coating onto them (which often turns out as the neater option!
- Place the cookies back onto the rack to dry the coating and once they're completely dry you can transfer them into a cookie tin.
This recipe was republished with permission from Romy London. You can view the original recipe here.