Amongst your family gatherings or those who you are gifting to, there is likely to be someone who has chosen to follow a vegan diet. But when it comes to Christmas baking, you might be scratching your heads wondering if the two concepts can actually coexist together. Can you make truly lovely Christmas treats that are vegan? 

Yes, its possible, it just takes some ingenuity and creativity, as well as some flexibility to think differently about what you might bake. I decided to give it a go with a recipe that contained egg whites, and replaced the egg whites with chickpea water, or aquafaba. This recipe is a very traditional German Christmas cookie recipe where whipped egg whites are combined with sugar, then almond meal and cinnamon. Its very simple and it actually worked! I could not believe my eyes! 

Vegan cinnamon stars

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons chickpea water (from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1 1/2 cups or 200g icing sugar
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celcius.
  2. Beat the chick pea water for about 7-10 minutes until you can see that peaks are forming. They may not be as stiff as normal egg whites would be, but they definitely need to have shape.
  3. Start to add the sugar slowly to the mixture while the beater is still mixing. Reserve 3/4 cup for the icing and set aside.
  4. Fold in the almond meal and cinnamon by hand. Add the almond meal in gradually, until you can see a dough forming. It will be soft dough, but you should be able to touch it with a wet hand without it sticking to your skin. If its still a little damp, add some more almond meal.
  5. Allow it to rest, covered, in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  6. While your dough is resting, line a baking sheet with baking paper. Prepare your bench with either a dusting of flour or baking paper. You may want an extra sheet of baking paper inbetween your rolling pin and the dough so your dough doesn't stick to the rolling pin.
  7. When you have rested the dough, cut about a quarter of the dough and roll it out on the bench/baking paper until its about half a centimetre in thickness and cut your stars out with a cookie cutter. Repeat this process until all your dough has been used up.
  8. Place your stars on the baking sheet and spread the reserved icing and 'egg white' mixture on the uncooked cookies, spreading the icing to the edges. This process may be a little messy.
  9. Bake the stars for about 10 minutes. You will need to watch them, because if they overcook, they will start to bubble and their shape will disintegrate. Take them out of the oven if they start to show these signs, and lower the temperature a little or the next batch.
  10. Place on a cooling rack once out of the oven. The stars will be soft when they come out but will firm up once they cool.

They will store in an air tight container for about 7 days. 

Thank you to @decisivecravings for the original egg-version of this recipe