Hi guys! It’s Christine here for Sweet-Tooth Friday! This week I have a crowd-pleasing recipe for Vegan Cut-Out cookies that are perfect for personalizing and decorating for any occasion. These are yummy enough to pass off as regular cookies to friends and family, and at Matt and Erin’s baby shower I did just that!
Surprise…you don’t need eggs and butter!
If you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s a whole world of baking outside of the standard butter and egg set. But even if you’re in the healthy-baking know, chances are your aunts, cousins, and friends of friends are still unenlightened about the joys of animal-free baking.
That’s where this recipe comes in—it’s the perfect introduction for a non-vegan crowd! So while the raw chia carrot cake may seem a little too foreign for your grandma to enjoy, these pretty cookies are plenty sweet, “buttery,” and dare I say, decadent. It’s really fun to watch people’s astonishment when you tell them these cookies are vegan.
Instead of egg-white based royal icing to decorate, I made an icing with a super-fine sugar called dry or candy fondant. I actually like it better than royal icing because it doesn’t dry as teeth-breakingly rock hard. You could also use a variation of the icing I used on my vegan gingerbread cookies. The shortbread-style dough here is less sweet than a normal cookie, which is a must for frosted cookies.
Cookie cutters: not just for Christmas anymore!
If you only enter the cookie-zone around the holidays, you’re missing out on a whole year’s worth of cookie-worthy celebrations. I like to call these “party cookies” because they are always such a hit!
Unlike many of my recipes, these cookie aren’t seasonally flavored, which lets the fun shapes and decorating be totally adaptable, and inevitably the real focus!
Maybe you remember my eclectic collection of cookie cutters…with most designs being under $2, it really is easy to impulse-buy whenever the mood strikes. For the baby shower I decided on a baby onesie cutter like this one, which was inspired by the No Meat Athlete onesie Matt and Erin got for the baby.
Let’s break out the cookie cutters and rolling pins and get ready to celebrate with these Vegan Cut-Out Cookies!
Vegan Cut-Out Party Cookies
- 1½ cups palm oil shortening, or 3 sticks palm oil based vegan shortening
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2½ cups dry fondant sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp almond extract (or any flavor you like!)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- For the cookies, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With a mixer, beat the palm oil with the sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Stir in the dry ingredients until a cohesive dough starts to form. If it is too crumbly, add another tablespoon of lemon juice.
- At this point you can chill the dough for an hour to make it easier to work with, but you don't have to. Line a insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with baking spray. Dust with confectioners sugar. Take a small amount of dough, about the size of a tennis ball and flatten it with your palm right on the baking sheet. Dust your rolling pin with confectioners sugar, and roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick. Cut out shapes with the cookie cutter, and remove excess dough, leaving cut-outs on pan. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes- this ensures the cookies will keep their shape and not spread. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until just barely starting to brown. While different trays of cookies are baking or chilling, you can keep working on pieces of parchment paper and then just transfer to pans when ready. It's ok to re-roll the same dough twice, but try not to do it more than that so the flour doesn't get tough. Allow baked cookies to chill thoroughly on wire racks. Makes about 3 dozen large cookies.
- For the icing, stir together the dry fondant, water, and extract. Check the consistency and add more dry fondant or water as needed; you want it pretty thick at first for outlining cookies, and then you can thin it out later for filling in color. Using a pastry bag or a baggie with a small hole clipped from the corner, outline the borders of your cooled cookies. Once the icing is sturdy, fill in the background of the cookie with a thinner icing, letting it "flood" into the borders. Once the background is dry, add colored icing to make carrots or any design, or sprinkle with colored sugars. Allow to dry uncovered overnight.
Whether you serve these cookies for a baby shower, birthday, or just keep them frozen for midnight snacking, they really are a great way to indulge with animal-free style. Plus, they are a lot of fun to make and decorate!
I absolutely can’t wait to meet the reason for these celebration cookies…the long anticipated Baby Fraz!
See you next Sweet-Tooth Friday, possibly with a brand spankin’ new NMA baby niece or nephew in tow!