Who knew that what I consider to be one of the simplest damn cookies is also one of the most time-consuming to make?! Well, it is, and lucky for my favorite little piggies, I was in quite a baking mood on Sunday.
Right off, I knew I wanted to make something Halloweenie (yep, I said “weenie”). Well, I just really wanted to use these cookie cutters that have been calling to me from the kitchen counter for four days. I picked them up last year at a post-Halloween sale (of course) and was delighted to have unearthed them last week while digging out the winter coats (egh) in our floor-to-ceiling-looks-like-a-game-of-Tetris storage closet.
When I think of rolled cookies, of course I think of sugar cookies. It’s only natural, right? I’d never tried to vegan-ize sugar cookies and royal icing before, but I had some Earth Balance and some tofu that needed to be used. So off to the races I went. I must say though, I really need to stop with the vegan treats–this hardcore icing consumption is not good for a girl.
2 1/2 c Flour
1/4 c Almond Meal
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 c (2 Sticks) Earth Balance
1 c Sugar
1/4 c Pureed Tofu
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 c Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
2 Tbs Vanilla Almond Milk or Soy Milk
1 Tbs + 2 tsp Light Corn Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the tofu puree and vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture until well-combined. Shape dough into a disk (it’ll be a little dry), wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
After refrigerating, preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper. Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface to an even thickness of about 1/3″ thick. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to prepared cookie sheet(s). The cookies won’t really spread, so you can snuggle them up fairly close to one another. Just be sure you leave yourself enough room to insert the sticks without having to move the cookies.
As needed, gather and re-roll the scraps until you’ve used all the dough. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, removing them when they’re set and the edges are ever-so-slightly beginning to brown. After removing them from the oven, quickly insert a stick into each cookie. Be quick about it too; this is no time for lollygagging. Also, be sure to put the stick near the center of the cookie so it will look cute standing up. And be careful not to poke through the bottom of the cookie. Some of them won’t cooperate, but most will. Just quickly shove any casualties into your mouth and smile proudly as members of your family wander by and comment on your baking finesse.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to wire racks and cool completely. Repeat the rolling/cutting/baking process with the remaining dough.
Yield: About 18 Cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters (well, duh.)
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. This will require a bit of upper arm strength, which is good–you need to work off some of those cookie casualties you just ate…not to mention put a few points toward the bowl licking you’re about to do.
Once combined, you can separate the icing into separate bowls if you want to make different colors of icing. I won’t tell you how to do that. You can read the back of the food coloring box. To ice the cookies, you can either dip them directly into the icing or use a spoon to smooth on the icing. I like the spoon method myself…the dipping method totally sullied my hands–which would have been okay if I could just lick them, but I do try to be sanitary when I’m cooking for other people. Of course, if you’re just making these for your love, maybe they wouldn’t mind–who knows, maybe you could start some sort of sticky, licky erotic sugar cookie decorating tradition?
Yield: Enough icing for this batch of cookies, with enough left over for a good bowl-lickin’ party on the sofa