I was thrilled to get a review copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar because I've been a long-time fan of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. In fact, it was Moskowitz's and Romero's fool-proof recipes that helped me convince Desi-- who is a bit of a cupcake maniac and not a vegan-- that cruelty-free cupcakes are better than their egg-and-dairy counterparts in more ways than one.
With Cookies, Moskowitz and Romero seem all set once again to make not just the vegan die-hards among us but also the omnivorous skeptics sit up and take notice. With 100 cookie recipes, there's something here to appeal to every cookie lover, from exotic Irish Creme Kisses, Tahini Lime Cookies and Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles (with an unexpected cayenne pepper kick) to your comforting old Chocolate Chip Cookies and Deluxe Cocoa Brownies.
I tried the sugar cookies because not only do I love their utter simplicity, but they are, of course, a staple for the holidays which are going to be here in no time at all. I prefer eating sugar cookies by themselves, without all the bells, whistles and sprinkles that they typically get prettied up with, but I did sandwich some of my favorite jelly into some of the cookies and then dusted them with powdered sugar for a simple but completely decadent treat.
The recipe was super-easy. I had everything I needed on hand and the ingredients made a beautiful dough that was easy to roll out and cut into cookie shapes. I made little holes in the center of some of the cookies using an apple corer so the jelly could squirt through. They tasted divine and looked really cute. A win-win.
I apologize to my readers for my spotty schedule these past couple of weeks but there's been a lot going on in my life that's been keeping me busy. Rest assured, I am around and I am going to keep posting as often as I can.
In the meantime try these cookies. They're amazing!
Roll-And-Cut Sugar Cookies
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup margarine, slightly softened (like Earth Balance "butter" sticks)
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract (you can also use almond, maple or any other flavor)
1/4 cup vanilla soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder and set aside.
In a larger bowl, cream the shortening, margarine and sugar with electric beaters until the mixture gets all soft and fluffy, for at least 4 minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure everything mixes in. Now beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts and the soymilk until everything is just combined.
Beat in half the flour and when it is thoroughly moistened, and then mix in the rest to form a soft dough.
Divide the dough into two and pat each portion into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
On a lightly floured platform or board, roll each disc to about 3/8ths-inch thickness. Cut it into shapes with a cookie cutter. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1-inch apart. Reroll leftover scraps and shape into more cookies.
In a preheated, 350-degree oven, bake the cookies for about 10 minutes until done.
Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for five minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
(Recipe from the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, published by Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com)