Vegan Sugar Cookies with Icing

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Some vegans don’t eat cookies too often, unless they bake them at home. They are hard to find in the stores and always a bit pricey. If you can find any, they will usually be peanut butter or chocolate chip, but very rarely a sugar cookie and a great tasting one at that. In fact my daughter prefers these over the non-vegan ones!

I made this batch of cookies for the First Annual Veg-Fest in Sonoma County last month. Since these needed to look pristine, I ended up with some rejects left at home. My friend was visiting a few days after the event and ate the rest of my cookies, he claimed they were so good he couldn’t stop eating them. Today he asked for the recipe because he just needed to make some vegan cookies and he thinks I can go into business with these and sell them to places like Whole Foods or other vegetarian friendly places.

I hate to even call these a “Sugar Cookie”. Most sugar cookies are hard, chalky and dry. What makes these so different than a traditional sugar cookie, is the flax-seed meal and the cream cheese. Those two items give this cookie a much better texture and flavor than the old fashioned ones. To change it up once in a while, you could add some lemon or orange zest to the cookie dough and icing for a different taste.

These cookies are just as easy to make as any other cookie, with the added fun of cutting out different shapes and decorating them.  If you are not an artist, then no worries, you can just spread the icing over the tops then devour. If you are more artistically inclined, then you can pull out all the stops and really make some fun and gorgeous cookies!

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* VEGAN * ROLLED *SUGAR *COOKIES *

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 1 Cup Golden Flaxseed Meal
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Vegan Margarine – such as Nucoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 2 tbls water
  • 1/2 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (or Lemon or Orange zest/extract)

Directions:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  This should take about 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Prepare the egg replacer  by mixing replacer with warm water and whisk until frothy
  • Add egg replacer, vanilla and almond extracts to mixer and beat another minute or so.
  • Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing after each cup is added.  (Be careful not to add too much at a time.
  • Blend until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of parchment paper.
  • Place the dough in a large plastic (zip-lock type) bag or Tupperware bowl with a lid and refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.

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  •  Take about half the dough at a time and roll it out until about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick.
  • Carefully stamp each cookie cutter until that piece is full. (If cookie cutter starts to  stick, dip the edges in flour.)
  • Prep an area to roll out the dough. I use a roll out mat, and a little flour. If you don’t have height guides for your rolling pin, you can use two wooden spoons of the same height as guides as shown above.15 min before you remove the dough from the refrigerator, preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
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  • Pick up the scraps and re- roll the dough, continue to stamp cookies until full, then repeat.
  • Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper or a silicone mat on top of the sheet if you prefer) and place in the freezer for about 5 -10 minutes. This assures that the cookies stay very cold and will help prevent spreading.
  • Take the other half of the dough and repeat the process until all cookies have been stamped.
  • If you don’t have enough cookies sheets you should leave the unrolled dough in the fridge until your first batches are completed.
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    PRO TIP: Place similar sized cookies on the same cookies sheet. That way all the cookies will cook evenly and you won’t have some cookies under-baked and others to crispy.

  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie.  Bake until they are just barely beginning to take on a golden tone.  They will continue to bake as long as then are on the pan, so don’t let then get too brown.
  • Cool for just a minute or so on the pan, then carefully remove cookies from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.

This recipe yields about 28, 2 1/2 inch cookies or 16, 3 1/2 inch cookies.

Once cooled, the cookies can be decorated with frosting, royal icing or rolled fondant.



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* VEGAN * ROYAL * ICING * RECIPE*

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (organic) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp of non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp of light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (or Lemon or Orange zest/extract)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

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See my Sugar Cookie Extravaganza Post for all the details and tools used to decorate cookies. COOKIE DECORATING TOOLS NEEDED

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Directions:

  • Using Kitchen-aide mixer, add sugar, non-dairy milk and whisk until smooth.
  • Add in extracts and corn syrup.  Whisk  until icing is smooth, shiny, and a little runny.
  • Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
  • You will want this to be thicker at first so you can use this for your borders. So add more powdered sugar until icing is thick enough to hold its shape. (You will add water as needed later for the flood fill.)
  • In the icing bottles, place some of the white frosting in each one. Tint with food coloring or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency. For the borders, you want it to be stiff and thicker, but still able to squeeze out.
  • Once your desired colors are mixed, then fill each bottle, or parchment bag.

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DECORATING : See my Sugar Cookie Extravaganza Post for links, ideas and more how-to’s.

  • While the borders are drying, use the same bowls as before to mix your thinner flood fill icing. This needs to be thin enough to “set” itself in about 10 seconds. Add only a few drops of water at a time. If it’s too runny, then you will had to add more powdered sugar and mix again.
  • Fill squeeze bottles with flood will icing. Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer stick to help move the flood colors to cover the surface area and reach into the corners.
  • Once your borders are set and dry you can begin filling in all your designs and colors. The possibilities are endless, so watch the videos for inspiration.
  • In-between uses, cover the bowl of plain white icing with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying. You can also cover each bottle with a tip or damp cloth to prevent them from getting hard or clogged.

It took a little time to get used to the vegan royal icing.  It’s not bright white like the traditional recipe is, but its a lovely off-white color that still takes gel coloring well. I was able to paint on the dried icing  as well as add edible glitter, and fondant flowers. By the time I decorated a few cookies, I was used to it.  The cookie at the bottom right corner of the photo below is bright white, because I rolled out white fondant and used the same cookie cutter to cut a square shape, iced cookie with the flood fill icing, then stuck on the fondant. The icing acts like glue and worked great. Fondant will give you a smoother canvas to work on, as well as giving it the pure white color. Some people love the taste of it and some hate it, I personally prefer the icing flavor over the fondant, but its great to use as an accent such as the flowers.

 

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** H A P P Y * B A K I N G **

Buttermilk Pie

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The first time I ever heard of Buttermilk Pie was earlier this year. I was dining with a group of friends at one of my favorite place, The Freemont Diner, and Buttermilk Pie as their pie of the day. We all took a chance, not knowing what it really was. OMG, it was the most delicious thing my taste-buds have ever experienced. The sweet creamy filling, had traces of nutmeg and cinnamon and their flaky crust was the best pie crust I have ever devoured. I was almost like if you took creme brulee and turned it into a pie – this would be that pie.

I knew after that day, that I would need to research this new amazing treasure and find out exactly what’s in this pie. Well lo and behold, as I was going through a magazine the very next day, a Penzeys Spices Catalog which I had for several months but hadn’t bothered to look at yet,  there was THE PIE…. the Buttermilk pie! I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Was the universe telling me I needed to make this pie? yep, I am pretty sure it was, and I did.


::: Buttermilk Pie :::

Adapted from Colleen Dyroff as Published in Penzeys Spice Catalog

This is one of the easiest pies I have ever made, the ingredients whisk together so quickly.

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 3 Tbls all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

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Ingredients for crust:

Note: I used a frozen store bought crust once for this pie, and it just wasn’t the same. The homemade crust really makes a huge difference.

  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) cold butter
  • 2-4 Tbls milk or water
  • 1 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions for the crust:

  1. Prepare the crust first – cut the butter into small pieces, place in Kitchen-aide mixer bowl or food processor
  2. Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the butter, blend slowly until combined
  3. Add the milk or water slowly until dough holds together
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes
  5. Sprinkle counter or rolling mat with flour and gently roll out the chilled dough
  6. Roll until its a large enough circle to fit in pie pan
  7. Carefully transfer to dough to pan and press down to fit into the bottom
  8. Trim edges of dough if needed
  9. Crimp or scallop the edges of the crust for decoration

Instructions For the Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs
  3. In Kitchen-aide mixer, combine melted butter, sugar, flour, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, nutmeg and salt
  4. Mix on low until smooth
  5. Place pie crust on cookie sheet in case of bubbling over
  6. Pour into prepared pie crust
  7. Place cookie sheet in over, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until its puffy, golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. There will be a lot of bubbling, as it gets close to being done that will subside. Cool on wire rack
  9. Serve warm or refrigerate
  10. Serve with fresh berries and/or whipped cream

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