Saturday, March 3, 2012

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies


It's not quite seasonal any more, but I'm going to update this blog with a bit of back-history.

So, in my family, cut-out sugar cookies have always been a staple.  Sticky fingers, floured and sticky rolling pins, overstuffed bellies, raw sugar... that's where the holidays have really taken hold for us.  Cut-out cookies are our go-to for school affairs, work functions and sprucing up the home with seasonal spice.  We use a veganised version of an old Betty Crocker sugar cookie classic--in which lemon extract is the secret ingredient to transform an average sugary delight into one with a zing.

Without further ado! --

Vegan Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies:

*we always double the recipe, for double the fun. You can halve my doubling of amounts if you like, though!

1 Cup soft Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine/butter) 1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 - 1/2 C applesauce (best bet: try 1/3 C first and see how it does--this dough is always pretty sticky!)
2 Tbsp soymilk or other nut/hemp-milk
2 tsp lemon flavouring
3+ C flour (keep more on hand for the rolling & cutting process!)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together.  Let chill for a little more than an hour 1 hour (until chilled to the touch and a bit less gooey).  Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit (190 Celsius).  Flour a clean surface and slap a big hunk o' dough down.  Add extra flour as needed until able to successfully roll dough until it's about 1/2 cm - 1 cm thick (or thinner if you want shortbread-like cookies).  Cut into desired shapes.  Place on lightly greased and floured baking sheet, and bake for 5 - 7 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden--remember that while the cookies remain cooling on the sheet (before you're able to remove them due to their tender delicacy!), the sheet will remain hot, so they'll keep baking a bit!  So, don't overdo them in the oven.

To finish, ice with fun colours using a simple mixture of icing (confectioner) sugar and small amounts of water + food dye.  The icing mix should be runny enough to smooth onto the flaky cookie surface, but definitively paste-like.  You don't want soupy icing!!!!

Serves: ~3 dozen

Happy icing/baking/holidays!

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