Dec 09, 2013

Snappy Ginger Snaps. Vegan and Oil-free.

Christmas Cookies: Day 1!


Happy holiday baking, dearest readers! Here we go on day one with oh-so traditional ginger snaps.

Someone should have had a secret video camera set up in my kitchen when these babies came out of the oven… I was literally jumping up and down and doing a cookie happy dance! What an unexpected success. I had to really use my imagination for this recipe. I wanted CRUNCHY. How does one usually achieve crunchiness in a cookie? OIL.

So I thought and thought and pondered and pondered and then it hit me…. biscotti. I used to make biscotti when I was a baking fool, using all of the traditional unhealthy cookie ingredients. How do you make biscotti crunchy? They’re twice baked! Yup. No problemo. That’s all this cookie needed to give it that snap. A snap so loud and deliciously crunchy the neighbors might hear it when you bite into one.

Hold the applause… just get your apron on and bake these!



~ dry

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • ¾ cup date sugar, coconut sugar or other minimally processed granulated sweetener
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp baking soda

~ wet

  • 3 TBS ground flax
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter

~ topping

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ TBS date or coconut sugar + ¼ tsp ground ginger
before baking


  1. Combine all wet ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place all dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse to combine.
  5. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the wet ingredients.
  6. Process until the mixture holds together as a sticky dough.
  7. Roll the dough into 1″ balls and place on the cookie sheet.
  8. Flatten each ball so that the cookies are about ¼” tall.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove and let cool COMPLETELY.
  11. Lower the oven temperature to 300° F.
  12. Bake again for 25 minutes (TIP: If you have a cooling rack, place the cookies on it to re-bake them, but put the rack in a pan that has low sides to make it easy to get into and out of the oven. The cookies will want to slide off, so be careful. This will help to dry out the bottoms of the cookies evenly).
  13. Remove and brush the tops with the maple syrup, then sprinkle the sugar/ginger powder on the tops.
  14. Bake for 5 more minutes.
  15. The cookies will feel slightly soft in the center when you push on them. That’s okay. They will firm up the rest of the way when they cool again.

Makes 30 cookies. Enjoy!

Healthy holiday trails,


13 responses to “Snappy Ginger Snaps. Vegan and Oil-free.”

  1. TotallyFried says:

    Intriguing and mouth watering.
    Wondering if there is anything I can use instead of Potato Starch?

    Btw, Love your site and recipes. I follow Dr. Fuhrman's life style 90% of the time and I enjoy your recipes.

  2. Helyn says:

    Thanks for the feedback! Yes, you can use either tapioca flour or sorghum to replace the potato starch.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Helyn, I'd love to try this delicious-sounding recipe, but I don't have (or use) gluten free flour. I have all the other ingredients. Can you suggest any substitutes for anyone who has no problems with gluten? Thank you! Carol

  4. Helyn says:

    Hi Carol, regular whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour should work perfectly! Let me know how they turn out for you. 🙂

  5. Marie says:

    So cleaver! I'm putting your recipe on my baking to-do list for next week. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Helyn says:

    Thanks Marie! Enjoy!!

  7. Being completely spoiled like I am to be able to taste Helyn's goodies fresh out of the oven, I have the advantage of letting everyone know what her most recent goodies taste like. I finally came up with the right name for her – "Healthy Food Alchemist"! She has an innate ability to know what combined ingredients will result in a divine healthy substitutes for our favorite, but not-so-healthy foods we were brought up with. These ginger cookies are made with fresh ginger. You will love them.

  8. My children (10, 8, 6, & 3) baked these up tonight as I read the recipe to them. They turned out wonderful! Keeping the kids waiting after the first baking, the second, the glaze and then the cool down was tough – but worth the wait! Thank you from our happy vegan and gluten-free mouths!

  9. Helyn says:

    Oh my goodness. How adorable is that?? I wish I could have seen them at work. Thanks SO much for sharing the experience! :))

  10. Inga says:

    This recipe is so clever. Helyn, you really are, hands down, the best vegan baker on the internet. It seems that no one else understands the chemistry as well as you do — or has as much fun. Thank you!

  11. Kristine says:

    This recipe looks perfect for the holidays. I was wondering if the brown rice flour was essential to making them crunchy? Can I use all white whole wheat for both flours ? Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Kristine! I think it would probably work… no promises as I haven’t tried this substitution. Maybe try a half batch first? Please let me know how they turn out. Thank you!!

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