Friday, August 17, 2007

Bastardized Basic Vegan Sugar Cookies: Variations

I have a habit now of making a batch of cookie dough, cooking a sheet or two of cookies, and then stashing the rest of the dough in the fridge for later use. I do actually bake the dough later: while I enjoy the occasional spoonful of raw cookie dough, I like warm cookies straight from the oven even better. Baking is a mysterious alchemy.

I had some leftover dough from the Basic Vegan Sugar Cookies, and I decided to see what these babies can do. I came up with the following three super-easy variations, one of which is still vegan as I made it. Vegans, if you have vegan chocolate chips and/or vegan chocolate kisses, feel free to make the appropriate substitutions.

Variation One: Strawberry Thumbprints
Additional ingredients: Strawberry jam, ½ tsp. per cookie

Prepare cookie dough as directed in the master recipe up to placing the dough balls on a greased cookie sheet. Use your index finger (my thumb was too big, but feel free to use your thumb to give more authenticity to the name!) to poke a small but deep hole into the middle of the dough balls. Don’t poke your finger all the way through; try to get it to the middle of the dough. Add ~1/2 tsp. of strawberry jam to the hole. Bake cookies as directed in the master recipe.

Variation Two: Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprints
Additional ingredients: Creamy peanut butter, ½ tsp per cookie, and mini chocolate chips, ¼ tsp. per cookie

Follow the instructions above for the Strawberry Thumbprints but don’t fill the hole. Instead, bake the cookies with the hole poked in the middle. When the cookies are done baking, leave them on their baking sheet and add the filling: ¼ tsp. min chocolate chips followed by ½ tsp. of peanut butter. Remove cookies from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Variation Three: Chocolate Kiss Cookies
Additional ingredients: Original Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses, 1 per cookie (or a vegan substitution if available)

I admit it: I stole this recipe idea from the classic peanut butter chocolate kiss cookie recipe, which I adore. But I had some leftover chocolate kisses in my pantry that I was trying to use, and I couldn’t resist pairing them with my sugar cookie dough. This plainer variation of the classic is really good.

Prepare and bake cookies as directed in the master recipe. Before you take the cookies out of the oven, unwrap the chocolate kisses and have them ready to use when the cookies come out. After removing the cookies from the oven, place the cookie sheet on a wire rack. Firmly place a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie, pressing down slightly until the cookie’s edges crack just a little. Remove cookies from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

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