December 16, 2016 by Virginia James
Baking is one of my favorite pass-times. Not only is it a stress reliever, but it’s a great way to spread some cheerfulness to others. It may not seem like a lot, but doing something nice for someone can really make their day -you just never know who needs a little extra sweetness in their life! …and the best thing about making vegan cookies? -You can have as much cookie dough as you like since there’s no egg in the recipe that could potentially get you sick 🙂
My favorite thing to do while baking anything is listening to music and singing at the top of my lungs. Christmas time is no exception, I like to yelp out Christmas carols, and the latest songs from my favorite broadway musicals (this year’s obsession: Hamilton).
This recipe I worked on over spring time and made a little batch for spring break/easter time. I’m doubling it here for the holidays. I modified it from minimalist baker.
*Note: you don’t HAVE TO have Christmas cookie cutter shapes, but in this case, it really does add to the festivity!
Christmas Sugar Cookies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter, softened
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
- A Splash of Almond milk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), softened
- 1/2 cup sugar + more for topping
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree* (acts as egg substitute)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups flour + more for rolling cookie dough
- 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp non-dairy milk
- Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer.
- Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and beat for 1 minute.
- Set your sifter over something that will catch fall out and add dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and baking powder). Use a spoon to briefly stir, then sift over butter and sugar mixture.
- Mix until until incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Then add almond milk and mix until a soft dough is formed. Switch to a wooden spoon if it gets too thick. If it appears to wet, mix in a bit more flour.
- Cover and freeze dough for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30-45 minutes (or overnight).
- Prior to baking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Scoop out heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of chilled dough and roll into balls. Alternatively, roll out between two pieces of wax paper, lightly flouring the bottom layer, remove top layer, and cut out shapes. (Optional: For shapes, to ensure they keep their form while baking, freeze them on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before baking.)
- Arrange cookies on a clean baking sheet 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. If you’ve rolled the dough into balls, dip a glass into cane sugar and gently smash down into a disc to help them cook more evenly.
- Bake on the center rack for 10-12 minutes for (8-10 for cutout shapes), or very slightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest on pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Prepare frosting in the meantime.
- FOR FROSTING: Wipe/rinse your mixing bowl clean and add softened butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Then add vanilla (optional) and mix once more.
- Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy. Drizzle in a little non-dairy milk to thin. You want this frosting to be pretty thick so it will hold its shape once on the cookies, so only add a little milk and add more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.
- To add natural food coloring, finely grate a raw beet into a clean dish towel and then squeeze it over the frosting and whisk.
- Once cooled, frost cookies and top with sprinkles (optional – vegan ones can be difficult to find). Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a few days. Freeze for longer-term storage (up to several weeks).
- Get creative! How you decorate is up to you- If you don’t have any cookie cutters, use the rim of a glass to cut out round cookies, and decorate them to look like christmas ornaments.
- Don’t have frosting, but have sprinkles? mix them into your dough for a colorful cookie.
- Bake with cake pop sticks to make cookie pops.
- Add color to your frosting and make it a piece of art, all your own.
- Out of decorating ideas? Spell out ‘Happy Holidays’ with letters, or leave plain without frosting for coffee dipping cookies -there’s literally no wrong way to give these cookies a christmas feel!
Spread the Cheer & Enjoy!