Soft and chewy, these Dinosaur Gingerbread Cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday cookie list! The perfect blend of spices with a little sweet icing, no one would ever guess they’re gluten free, nut free, seed free, egg free and easily vegan!
I don’t know about your kids, but in my house, Dinosaurs reign supreme. Well, at least with my daughter.
She’s wanted to be a paleontologist since she was 2. It was always comical to watch that tiny little human tell other people she’s going to be a paleontologist one day, just like Mary Anning (her paleontological hero).
You of course don’t need to use dinosaur cookie cutters (these are the exact ones that I use), but quite frankly I don’t know why you wouldn’t. I’m obsessed!
What makes these Dinosaur Gingerbread Cookies so delicious?
- Softened butter or vegan baking stick: Don’t use melted. Melted butter tends to make the cookies spread out more and you want them to keep the shape of the cookie cutters.
- Light brown sugar: The light brown sugar contains some molasses which causes the cookies to be even softer!
- Cinnamon: Brings in that sweet yet woodsy flavor.
- Ginger: It wouldn’t be a gingerbread cookie without this lovely spice!
- Molasses: Brings that sweet yet smokey and a bit bitter flavor.
TIPS FOR MAKING THESE COOKIES
- Refrigerate the dough- This is a must with egg free cookies. The dough needs to be chilled for at least 3 hours so that it doesn’t spread all over the place once they bake. Once you shape the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic, pop it in the fridge for 3 hours.
- Work the dough in your hands- After the dough is done chilling, if it is too hard to work with and is breaking apart, simply break off a section and work it in your hands until it is soft and you can roll it out. You want to roll it out to about ¼ inch in thickness.
- Let the cookies cool before decorating- If you put the icing on a hot cookie, it will melt into a giant puddle.
- Use a zip top bag for the icing- You don’t need any fancy equipment for decorating these babies! I snipped a tiny corner off of a zip top bag. You can use that and a toothpick if you like to help spread it.
- Don’t stack the cookies- The icing takes a good 24 hours to set, make sure you don’t stack them until the icing is dry.
CAN THESE Dinosaur Gingerbread Cookies BE VEGAN?
Yes! Follow these steps to make sure they’re vegan:
- Use a gluten free flour that’s free from dairy- Some gluten free flours contain dairy. Make sure to read the label to make sure the flour you’re using is vegan.
- Swap out the butter with vegan baking sticks– Make sure to use vegan baking sticks instead of butter.
And there you have it! Deliciously festive Dinosaur Gingerbread Cookies that are gluten free, nut free, seed free, egg free and easily dairy free!
Hope you guys love them as much as we do!
Dinosaur Gingerbread Cookies
For the cookies:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan baking stick softened
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3.5 cups gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the icing:
- 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 2-2-5 tablespoons room temperature water
- Pinch of salt
- In a large bowl or an electric mixer or a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the softened butter or vegan baking stick until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat until creamy again.
- In a small bowl, using a spoon, mix the cornstarch and water together until it is thin and watery. It will be thick and tacky at first.
- Add the cornstarch water mixture and the vanilla to the wet ingredients and beat on high for 2 minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until just combined. The dough will be thick and a bit sticky.
- Make two disks with the dough, wrap each one in plastic wrap and chill them for a minimum of 3 hours. I actually froze one of the disks and made the second batch about a week later. If you’re going to freeze one batch, wrap in plastic wrap and then put in a zip top bag. Also it’s a good idea to write the date on the bag of when you made the dough.
- Once the dough is done chilling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unwrap one of the disks and lightly flour a clean work surface with gluten free flour, as well as your rolling pin and hands. If the dough feels hard and seems to be cracking, I like to work it in sections. Break a piece off and work it in your hands until it is soft. Once it is soft, roll it out till it is ¼ inch thick. Use your dinosaur cookie cutters (these are the exact ones I use) or whatever cookie cutters you like and press into the dough. Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
- Place the cookies about an inch apart on the baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes.
- Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 min or so before removing them. Once they have cooled completely, you can decorate them with icing.
- To make the icing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. If the icing seems too thick, add half a tablespoon more water. If it’s too thin, add 2 more tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar.
- Once the icing is made, spoon it into a zip top bag. Make a very tiny snip at the bottom corner of the bag to squeeze the icing out. Decorate your cookies as desired. The icing does take almost a full 24 hours to set so don't stack the cookies on top of one another until they have hardened completely. Enjoy!
This Dinosaur Gingerbread Cookie recipe was adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction's Favorite Gingerbread Cookies.