Valentine’s Schmalentines. Anyone with me?
And no, it’s not because I’m single. Even when I’ve been in relationships at this time of year, I’ve found the whole Valentine’s Day thing a bit cheesy and naff. (If you’re into it, that’s totally cool! You do you.)
But last year everything changed…
Last February 14th, my second gorgeous nephew was born. And for me, that is worth celebrating!
Seeing as I’m on the other side of the world to my family and won’t get to celebrate in person, I thought I’d mark the occasion of my Little Valentine’s first birthday by baking in his honour. Little Valentine has a dairy allergy but he’s such a good eater so he usually loves eating Auntie Sarah’s vegan treats.
Unfortunately, these cookies didn’t quite go to plan… The first batch ended up in the bin. The dough was too wet, I over-mixed it, and they turned out like ginger hearts of rubber. Nice.
The second batch was much better, even if some dough wasn’t rolled out quite thin enough, creating a few little gingerbread pillows. Unfortunately, overnight these cookies softened a bit too much and the smaller ones in particular went too chewy again. Sigh. On the plus side, the flavour was really good!
I am posting the recipe anyway in the hope that someone out there can make a success of them or even better, tell me where I went wrong. (Under-baked? Over-baked? Over-worked dough?)
Sorry that these didn’t quite work out, Little Valentine. They may not be my best biscuits ever but they are filled with love.
And at least you don’t have to eat any…
Valentine’s Gingerbread Cookies
Makes 24-30 (depending on cookie cutter size)
2 1/2 cups plain white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup light brown sugar
Sift flour into large bowl. Add baking powder and soda, spices, and salt and mix together.
In separate bowl, mix together apple sauce, maple syrup, milk and sugar until combined.
Make well in dry ingredients and pour in wet mixture. Mix until combined and tacky dough forms. Cover bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Lightly spray large baking sheet with cooking spray and line with baking paper.
Spread flour over a clean surface, coat rolling pin in flour, then roll dough out to about 1/2 cm thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and use spatula to transfer shapes to baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let cool on tray for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Wait until completely cooled before decorating.
Happy first birthday, Little Valentine!