Lebkuchenherzen – My vegan version! German gingerbread heart cookies decorated with vanilla buttercream. Perfect for Oktoberfest!
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Oktoberfest ended today! Sad face.
I was lucky enough to be able to be in Germany during Oktoberfest a few years ago. And even though I didn’t go to the actual Oktoberfest celebration (thanks a lot, anxiety), just walking through Germany was incredible. The architecture, the people, THE FOOD. MAN OH MAN.
I thought I might have a little trouble being vegan in the sausage and beer capital of the world, but I tried my best to explain to the waiters & waitresses that I don’t eat meat or dairy, and guess what, not one of them looked at me sideways. One of them even went, “ohhh, vegan! I’ll get you the potato dumpling!”
I honestly can’t even order a salad “hold the chicken” in Southern California without getting a sideways look.
I could go on and on and on about the food. I know I sound like a tourist, but they literally serve BASKETS OF PRETZELS like a frickin’ pre-meal bread basket. It’s the most incredible thing. Plus there’s like 5 types of mustard minimum and I like that.
But anyways, there are these gingerbread cookies (lebkuchenherzen translates to ‘gingerbread-hearts’) all throughout Germany that are super popular around holidays, especially during Oktoberfest. They range from small cookies to larger than your head, and they’re meant to be given to a friend or loved one (they’re usually decorated with cute phrases like “I love you” or “My one and only”). I didn’t get to eat one because there’s eggs in them, but I wanted to make some of my own!
My lettering skills are suuuuper rusty, so I’m sorry about that. But hey, they’re really fun to make so that’s all that matters! I just used a very small round tip, wrote the phrases in the middle of the cookie, then used a different piping bag with a slightly larger star tip to decorate the edges. The frosting is delicious, obviously, but the cookies are perfect gingerbread cookies. Soft, crispy on the edges, and full of holiday spices.
I hope you guys all get to make these!
Honestly though, I would move to Germany in a heartbeat. Any tattoo shops out there hiring? I’ve got a good artist for you.
PS I snuck an Overwatch joke in there, I’m so sorry.
Here’s What I Used:
- 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. baking soda
- 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 3¾ cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp. vegan butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. nondairy milk
- vegan food coloring
- Mix flax & water and let sit 5-7 minutes until thickened.
- In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter & sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla, vinegar molasses, and flax and mix well.
- Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and spices) and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours in the fridge.
- Once fully chilled, turn out onto a floured surface and roll the dough to about ¼ inch thick.
- Using a large heart cutter, cut out shapes and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- While oven is preheating, store the baking sheet in the fridge to chill, about 10 minutes. I also wrapped up the remaining dough and stored it in the fridge until I cut out the next batch.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes (mine were very large, so they took 12-13 minutes).
- Add powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and nondairy milk to the bowl of a stand mixer. Let mix on medium-low for about 3 minutes until the frosting comes together and is smooth.
- Once the cookies are cooled, decorate as desired!
Cookie recipe adapted from Pickles & Honey – “Vegan Gingerbread Cookies“
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