14 June 2013

Vegan Viands #11: Sugar Cookies

Tonight I dug two recipes out of my cookbook (speaking of which, my cookbook is an amazing present that Shana gave me a number of Christmases ago and it's where the title of this blog comes from). The first one was this sugar cookie recipe.

A number of years ago, while I was still in grad school, my advisor and I planned a party. I have zero recollection of why we planned a party, or who came to the party, or really any details about it at all, aside from the fact that we were going to frost sugar cookies. My advisor's plan was to buy some sugar cookies from the store (I seem to recall that was because there were a ton of people coming, so to bake them would have taken ages), but we both knew that those cookies wouldn't be vegan. At that point, I decided I'd find a recipe for vegan sugar cookies so that I could frost cookies, too. I made the cookies a day before the party and they were awful. No joke. Since I still wanted cookies to frost, my next plan was to find a basic recipe that looked easy to veganize. I found one, veganized it, and they were perfect for frosting! I got to play at the party like everyone else (whatever party it was!).

I left this one sans frosting so you can envision what you'd like!
Vegan Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1 stick (1/2 c.) vegan butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 "egg" (I use egg replacer)
2 T. canola oil
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350
1. Cream butter and sugar, then add vanilla, "egg," and oil, cream again.
Notice how thin it is?
This is correct (but may throw you off because it's not like normal cookies).
2. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
3. Put a small scoop of dough into your hand, form into a smooth ball, then gently press on a cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just barely turning golden brown around the edges.

Helpful Hints
  • I haven't mentioned this before, but canola oil and vegetable oil can be used interchangeably. I keep canola on hand, but any neutral tasting oil will work. 
  • You do not have to smooth the dough and press it onto the cookie sheet. It will still bake just fine, the cookies will just be a bit rougher in texture (making them harder to frost). 
  • If you plan not to decorate/frost these, which certainly is not necessary, you can sprinkle some coarse-grained sugar on top (e.g., sugar in the raw) for some added interest. The cookies themselves are good, but are uninspired on their own. 

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