Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Basic Vegan Sugar Cookies

I did a flurry of cooking this weekend, and all of it was delicious! I only tried one new recipe, though: a stripped-down version of a cookie recipe in the new issue of Vegetarian Times. The fun part is that this is a vegan recipe, which simply means that it doesn’t contain any ingredients that are derived from animals. In terms of cookies, this means no eggs, butter, or milk. While I do not follow a vegan diet (technically, I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, which is a fancy way of saying I eat dairy and eggs), I have a THING for vegan cookies. Vegan cookies tend to be soft and cakey, which I really like. The tricky part with vegan cookies is finding a good way to make sure the dough holds together when you combine the wet and the dry ingredients. In the Basic Vegan Sugar Cookies that follow, my guess is that the cornstarch functions as the binder.

These cookies are tasty and adorable. I found them to be soft, cakey, and sweet but not too sweet. They melt in your mouth and make the perfect light, after-dinner dessert. I imagine they would pair well with fresh fruit. And of course you should drink a big mug of your favorite tea while you eat them!

This recipe is very closely adapted from a recipe for Vegan Snickerdoodles in the September 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times.

Basic Vegan Sugar Cookies

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 stick (4 oz. or ½ cup) vegan margarine, softened (I like Earth Balance brand Natural Buttery Sticks)
¾ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup soymilk, vanilla or plain (I used plain)
1 tsp. real vanilla extract

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2) Stir together flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a bowl.
3) In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the margarine to soften it (this step was a bit tricky for me, as most of the margarine got stuck in the beaters. Even if that happens to you, carry on; your cookie dough should be fine because when you add the sugar, the margarine will become unstuck and blend into the sugar). Add the sugar to the margarine and beat to combine well. Add the soymilk and vanilla to the margarine-sugar mixture and beat for another 30 seconds or so to combine until smooth.
4) Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and beat for about 30 seconds to make a smooth thick batter.
5) Use your hands to shape the batter into 1- to 1.5-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies look a bit dry on top. Try not to overbake them. Cool cookies on sheets for a minute or two and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for at least three days with no loss of flavor or texture.

8 comments:

A Slice of Life said...

Hello!

Thanks for posting this recipe. Do you think that this would work to roll out for holiday cookies or do you think it really needs to be rolled into balls? I'm trying to be supportive of my vegan daughter...sometimes it's tougher than I thought. Thanks!

A Slice of Life

Rosiecat said...

Hello, A Slice of Life!

Hmm, that's a great question. My recollection is that the dough seemed pretty sturdy, so I think it might hold up to being rolled out and cut into fun shapes. The best way to find out, of course, is to try. Worst case scenario, you end up with some inedible cookies or cookie dough. I would probably use parchment paper on the cookie sheets, though, just in case the cookies turn out to be very delicate when they are in flat, thin shapes.

Thanks for visiting! My apologies for not responding to your comment; I didn't see it until today! You deserve major props for trying to support your daughter's veganism. I know it isn't easy; I have friends who are vegan, and it can be really challenging to cook with them and for them. But once you get the hang of it, vegan cookery can be a welcome change of pace from the normal routine.

Happy cooking!

Anonymous said...

hi!!

I am trying to make vegan cookies for a class project about animal rights and so I was wondering if its possible to roll out the batter and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter? or can this not be done with this recipe?

Thanks soo much!!!!

Rosiecat said...

Hi Anonymous,

I was just about to start writing, "My recollection is that the dough seemed pretty sturdy..." and now I see that I have already written that, two comments up in response to the same question. However, I have another idea if the dough is difficult to roll and cut out. My sister-in-law uses a different method to make shaped cookies: form the dough into a ball, and then press it down INSIDE a cookie cutter to make a shape. Use your fingers to press it down, and if they get sticky, you can either wet them a little or spray them with nonstick spray.

One more suggestion: if you can't shape these cookies, you could definitely decorate them after baking to give them a theme for your project.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi :)

I was just wondering how many cookies this recipe makes....

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

just made these today! They turned out so cute and delicious!!

Thank you!
Erin :)

Rosiecat said...

Anonoymous, I don't recall how many cookies this recipe makes. Maybe someone else can chime in here? Pretty please?

Erin, yay! I'm glad your batch turned out well.

Renee :) said...

Mine are in the oven right now! I pressed the dough out (rather than rolling it) and used a gingerbread man cutter, which worked pretty well, although I did end up adding about 1/4 cup more flour. I got 12 good sized "men" out of this recipe. Haven't done a final taste test yet,but the dough tastes pretty good!