First add the vegan butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and optional anise & black pepper to a mixing bowl. Cream together with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy.
Next, add in the flax egg and vanilla and whip together another 30 seconds.
Then, add in the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Make sure to add the flour first and then add the other ingredients on top. Then, use a fork to gently sift the baking soda and salt into the flour. Once sifted, mix everything together until a thick cookie dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky, but should not be wet.
Cover the bowl of cookie dough with plastic wrap and add the bowl of dough to the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
About 10 minutes before removing the dough from the fridge preheat the oven to 350F, line a baking tray with parchment paper, and fill a small bowl with the 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar.
Remove the dough from the fridge and use a cookie scoop to scoop out 10-12 evenly sized cookies (about 45-50 grams per cookie). Roll into balls between your palms and then roll in the bowl of granulated sugar until the cookies are coated.
Place each cookie at least 2 inch apart on the tray and do not flatten them as they will spread while baking. All of the cookies will not fit on one baking sheet, so I recommend baking 6 cookies at a time on one tray vs. putting two trays in the oven at the same time.
Bake for 11-13 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and the cookies are cooked through but have slightly soft centers (If making smaller cookies adjust baking time to 9-11 minutes). The cookies will continue baking after they are removed from the oven so the centers should still be soft, but not glossy or raw, when they are removed from the oven.
Remove the cookie tray from the oven and immediately tap the tray on the counter to produce a more “wrinkly” cookie. For round cookies, use a round cookie cutter that is slightly larger than the cookie and swirl the cookies around inside to form them into a round cookie. This step will only work if you do it while the cookies are still warm.
Then, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. The cookies will be soft and puffy out of the oven and will naturally deflate a little while cooling.
After cooling, serve & enjoy!