These gingerbread thumbprint cookies are a little bit chewy, a little bit tart, and a whole lot delicious! Vegan friendly and gluten free too!
I’ve started following The Great Canadian Baking Show and it’s exactly what it sounds like: Canada’s version of The Great British Bake Off. Home bakers making lust-worthy cakes, bagels, pies, Battenburg cakes and other beautiful desserts in hopes of wowing the judges. I made the mistake of binge watching the first few episodes on a hungry stomach. It’s as if the sight of these show-stopping cinnamon bun wreaths and sky-high pavlovas made my dinner of spaghetti squash digest faster than usual.
It’s almost unheard of for me to be watching TV shows. It’s not really ingrained into my mind that TV shows are a pastime option because I haven’t had cable TV at home since I started elementary school. Then when school picked up in high school and university, I didn’t even have the time to think about watching hours and hours of TV. Strangely enough, what I thought was going to be Hell November didn’t end up being as terrible as I anticipated. I managed to get ahead on my term papers and finished all of them at least a week before the due date. This left me with more free time than I had prepared to have. I resorted to YouTube cooking videos (caught up on my favourite Sorted Food (they are flippin’ hilarious) and discovered the eye candy that is Avant Garde Vegan (both the food and the chef 😉 )), doing a ton of yoga (I’m so zenned out it’s ridiculous), and starting season one of The Great Canadian Baking Show.
The fun part about watching the show is living vicariously through the contestants. Every time the hosts unveil the next challenge, my mind starts churning to contemplate what I would make if I were on the show and what flavour combinations I’d incorporate. Lavender earl grey cupcakes, malted chocolate cake, my ube rolls, or maybe a fresh basil peach pie? It’s also so inspiring to see bakers use flavours I haven’t worked with before like pistachio and rose or wintermelon and cashew. As a baker who usually deals with vegan recipes, I would love to see how vegan baked goods would stand up against the conventional ones. Of course it could be challenging to compete with an all-butter crust or achieve the perfect meringue without egg whites, but I’m always up for a baking challenge! Hmm… maybe one far off day I’ll apply to be on the show…
Since watching the show, I’ve been itching to bake EVERYTHING. Expect to see more cookie and sweet recipes this month. I no longer keep my apartment cupboards properly stocked so I have to patiently wait for the weekend to return home before getting myself covered in flour again. Now that classes are over, I’ve moved back home for the holidays and am ready to tackle my Christmas baking bucket list. (Studying for finals can happen while things are in the oven, that is if I can stop myself from singing along to Kelly Clarkson and settle down.) Its been steadily growing and some Canadian Baking Show items like focaccia and pavlova have made their way onto the list. But if there’s one recipe I must bake every holiday, it’s gingerbread cookies. Duh, how can it be Christmas without gingerbread?
Chew describes these gingerbread thumbprints as the perfect marriage of winter and summer. Gingerbread is an inherently Christmas flavour while lemon is more characteristic to the sunny days of summer. In anthropology there’s a concept called prospective memory, where you lament the meals you’ve had in the past while looking forward to the foods you’ll eat in the future as you prepare to eat in the present. (I apologize for the jargon.) Well here I am, wishing for the fruit of summer at the same time getting excited about the classic flavours of Christmas.
These gingerbread thumbprints are impeccably chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. The zingy lemon curd is made on the stove top in under 10 minutes and your non-chocoholic friends and family will appreciate a chocolate-free option. (Although I really don’t understand how one could dislike or even live without chocolate.) The lemon glaze is totally optional, but I think it adds some flair and the holidays are all about being extra with the decor. At least in my house it is. We have at least four wreaths hanging in the house during Christmas, string lights wrapping the entire staircase, and garlands draping over every ledge I can find. During Christmas, tacky is good.
If I ever needed to bake gingerbread cookies for a baking competition, I’d for sure use this recipe. Even if there aren’t judges to impress on national television, these gingerbread thumbprint cookies are a fresh and healthy addition to your holiday baking repertoire!
Enjoy this original recipe and let me know in the comments what recipes are on your baking bucket list or what you would bake if you were a baking show contestant!
- 1½ cup oats, ground into flour
- ½ cup quinoa, ground into flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- A generous pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp water, use as needed
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- Juice of ½ medium lemon
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- GLAZE (optional)
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- 2 to 3 tsp lemon juice
- COOKIES: Preheat oven to 375°F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat and quinoa flours, coconut sugar, baking soda and powder, spices, and salt.
- Add the coconut oil, molasses, and vanilla to the dry mixture and mix until evenly incorporated. The dough should be wet enough to easily be molded into balls. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tsp at a time until proper consistency is reached.
- Using a cookie scoop, divide the dough into 15 balls and arrange them evenly on the lined cookie sheet.
- To make the indent, use your thumb, the back of a wooden spoon, or the handle of a rolling pin. Shape the dough so that there are no cracks.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes and allow them to cook while preparing the lemon curd.
- CURD: In a small sauce pan, whisk all the lemon curd ingredients until smooth and cornstarch is fully dissolved. Place the sauce pan on the stove and bring to a boil, whisking every now and then. Once at a boil, turn the heat off. Curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
- GLAZE: In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. The glaze should be ribbon consistency. Transfer the glaze to a small ziploc bag or piping bag. You will need a very small hole to drizzle.
- ASSEMBLY: Place about ½ to 1 tsp of curd in the indent of each cookie. Drizzle glaze over the top.
Recipe adapted from our Gingersnap Cookies and Lemon Curd Bars