Is it Christmas already? I can’t wait! In preparation for the festive season, I want to share a special recipe with you, which has similar ingredients to the classic gingerbread cookies recipe, but with some modifications. :) These chocolate cookies are incredibly sweet and flavourful, they have no added sugar, they are vegan and gluten-free, AND they don’t require any baking! Yum Yum Yum Merry Christmas!
If you want to go with the classic recipe, it’s absolutely fine. After all, it’s the holiday season so if your cookies contain some sugar, it’s not going to be the end of the world. However I know some of you (like me) simply don’t buy on a regular basis the ingredients needed for the classic baked cookies, like white flour and sugar. So instead I am offering you a simple alternative so you can enjoy the taste of gingerbread cookies over Christmas without having to buy any bad ingredients. As there is no flour and no dairy, these cookies are vegan and gluten-free.
The base for the cookies is this soft date-almond “dough” that has all the classic Christmas spices and a very nice orange flavour. This filling is then covered in crunchy chocolate layer and decorated with some healthy, colourful and beautiful decorations. All of this is achieved without any baking, you simply have to chill the cookies in the freezer before covering them in chocolate and decorating them. I love no-bake treats, because I am too lazy to bake.
Colourful & natural cookie decoration ideas
Normally these cookies are decorated with ready store-bought decorations that are very pretty, but use some not very natural colouring. Some kids are quite sensitive to these dyes so it’s a good idea to avoid them in general. So if you are conscious about this, then you might want to try some of these healthy naturally colourful cookie decoration ideas:
- Chopped raw Pistachio (Green). The green colour fits perfectly with the red-green-white Christmas colour theme. It’s important to buy raw pistachios and not roasted as the roasted once lose their colour and they are not that green. You can see how I have decorated my Christmas tree-shaped cookies to be green with pistachios, they turned out so cute.
- Shredded Coconut (White). What better way to imitate snow then with shredded coconut? It just looks like snow flakes and it’s so pretty!
- Goji Berries (Red). You can easily add a red colour to your cookies with chopped goji berries as they are very bright and colourful. I used goji berries for my xmas bliss balls from last year, you can see them here.
- Freeze Dried Strawberry (Red) / Raspberry (Purple) crumb. This is not something you probably have in your kitchen at the moment, but you can purchase it on amazon if you want to try it. Freeze Dried fruits are 100% natural and look very pretty. You might remember my Raspberry Chocolate Truffles for which I use freeze-dried raspberry crumb for decoration. I used some of it for these cookies as well, but for xmas cookies it might be better to get strawberry crumb or powder as they are more red, rather than pink.
- Clementine peel (Orange). The bright orange Clementines can really add some colour to your cookies. I used clementine peel to decorate my gingerbread man. Orange peel might not work as it’s thicker, but if you cut it very thinly it might be ok too. Lemon peel could also work, although the colour is not that bright. In order to make the perfect round circles you can use something like a straw and press it into the skin, turning it gently until it cuts the perfect round circle. With a knife I also created the mouth, cutting it in a bit of a triangle shape.
I hope you like these ideas and if you think of any other natural and colourful ingredients to use for cookie decorations than please comment and share your ideas! I am sure there are more, these are just all the ones I was able to think of.
I hope you like the recipe for these naturally sweet and pretty gingerbread cookies and if you do get to make them, don’t forget to tell me how they turned out and share your picture with me on instagram and tag @myfoodandhappiness in your post. I wish you a very fabulous and joyful Christmas!
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 1/2 cup pitted fresh medjool dates
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp raw cacao
- 1/2 orange (you need the zest and the juice)
- 3 x 100g dark chocolate bars (vegan & gluten-free if possible)
- decorations like the ones described above
- In a food processor blend the oats and the almonds until they almost turn into flour.
- Add the dates, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cacao, the zest from half an orange and 2 tbsp of orange juice. Blend until the mixture turns into a big ball.
- If the mixture feels a bit dry then add gradually a few more tbsp of orange juice and blend until the mixture is sticky and easy to shape.
- Roll the dough on a flat surface over parchment paper to avoid sticking (if you find it a bit sticky to manage, try getting your hands wet) and with your favourite cookie shape cutters start cutting out the cookies and place them on a tray with a parchment paper.
- Put the cookies in the freezer for 30-45 minutes until they are solid and they are not that soft.
- Melt the chocolate, using a double boiler and dip each of the cookies in it. Place the chocolate covered cookies on a cooling rack for the excess chocolate to drip off and then move back to a tray with parchment paper.
- Decorate the cookies straight away while the chocolate is still warm so they can stick to it.
- Place the cookies in the fridge for the chocolate to cool down until it's solid again.
When you start covering the cookies in chocolate, it's best not to take them all out of the freezer at once. Just take a few, cover them in chocolate and decorate them before taking out some more. This is to prevent the cookies from softening while you are decorating the others, which could take some time if you are feeling creative.
Other Christmas recipes you might also like: