There’s something really wonderful about a good, old-fashioned sugar cookie. When I was younger, if we had been particularly well-behaved, my mom would bring sugar cookies for me and my sister when she picked us up from school. It’s the kind of thing that stirs up happy memories – maybe sugar cookies make you think of a favorite bakery, of your grandmother’s kitchen. When I eat sugar cookies, I think of rainy afternoons and a mug of English breakfast tea.
Lately, I’ve strayed on the fancier side of baking: gingerbread snowmen and pretty frosted confections that were almost nicer to look at as they were to eat. But, every once in a while, it’s nice to go back to your roots and pull out a favorite snack from a past life. And everyone, everyone, likes a good sugar cookie. And, when your life is messy and complicated, it’s nice to have something easy and uncomplicated to remind you of days long past.
I stumbled upon this recipe on my perennial favorite vegan baking emporium (Minimalist Baker, I worship the ground on which you bake), and it could not be more perfect. These cookies are soft and a little bit chewy, and they go wonderfully with a full glass of milk (dairy free, as you do). S is particularly fond of them – I made 16 two days ago, and we’re down to 5 as of this morning. So it goes, no?
What’s your favorite comfort food? Or, related: what do you cook/bake when your life gets crazy? I’d LOVE to know in the comments!!
(photo from The Minimalist Baker)
VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES from The Minimalist Baker
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Makes 15-20 Cookies
1/2 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), softened
1/2 cup organic cane sugar + more for topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (for thickening/binding)
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 bowl and cream with a mixer.
- Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and beat for 1 minute.
- Add dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and baking powder), mix until just incorporated. Then add almond milk and mix until a soft dough is formed. Switch to a wooden spoon or baking spatula if it gets too thick. If it seems to wet, mix in a bit more flour.
- Cover and freeze dough for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30-45 minutes (up to overnight).
- Five minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
- Scoop out heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of chilled dough and roll into balls.
- 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.