The Best Sugar Cookies

Hey again,

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (giving me yet another excuse to indulge in sweet treats), I figured I would share my fave sugar cookie recipe with you all. The recipe uses pumpkin puree as an egg substitute and it surprisingly works great! The recipe states that you can use apple sauce instead with varied results, but from my past experiences, I would suggest sticking with the pumpkin in this case. Apple sauce works best for moist bakes goods, like muffins and cupcakes; whereas, pumpkin puree makes cookies tender and chewy. Just be sure not to over-bake them, which is I’ve noticed is easy to do for most people. My mom has always told me to slightly under-bake all cookies… pulling them out of the oven as soon as they begin to get a golden hue. Works every time!

If you have the time to spare, the recipe includes instructions for how to make homemade frosting. However; if you’re short on time like I tend to be, you can honestly just use most Pillsbury or Duncan Hines frostings (the vanilla flavors are usually vegan), but make sure to double check the ingredient lists. I prefer to use natural ingredients when it’s not too complicated, so I like the idea of making my own frostings and food colorings (beets for red color). If you’re the same way, the recipe link below contains a sub-link to homemade natural food-coloring. Sometimes I cheat and get my frosting from the local Whole Foods. The brands Wholesome, Simple Mills, and Miss Jones are all vegan organic and can be found at pretty much any natural foods market.

Below is the before and after of the heart-shaped sugars cookies I made last year. I free-handed these hearts with a knife, but feel free to shape them how you please, depending on the occasion. The recipe is linked below, so check it out!

IMG_4076 Link to Recipe: Minimalist Baker’s Sugar Cookies

Melissa

 

Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

 


Polvorones or in other words “Mexican Wedding Cookies,” “Russian Tea Cakes” and “Snowball Cookies” are the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and nuttiness that melt and crumble in your mouth, similar to a shortbread cookie. It’s a fairly simple recipe and requires few ingredients, which is a plus during the hectic holiday season.

I first heard of this cookie recipe way back in my 7th grade Spanish class when we were asked to choose one Mexican or Spanish recipe to prepare and bring in for a Christmas potluck. I wasn’t a huge fan of nuts at the time (this recipe contains nuts), but decided to give this one a shot and it immediately became one of my favorite Christmas cookies. The recipe I was given in 7th grade contained butter, but I have been subbing plant-based alternatives for dairy butter and it has no effect on the taste or texture of these cookies. Hope you enjoy them just as much as I do!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (I recommend using Earth Balance buttery spread)
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • < 1/4 tsp table salt (slightly below measure — a heaping measure once ruined my cookies).
  • 1-1/3 cup crushed pecans (or nut of choice) Dislike nuts? Sub with mini choc. chips (Ghirardelli semi-sweet, Trader Joe’s semi-sweet or Enjoy Life variety).
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp each).
  • Confectioners sugar set aside for dusting

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and vanilla until fluffy.
  3. Add sugar, creaming well.
  4. Mix in flour and salt.
  5. Stir in Pecans.
  6. Lightly form dough into approx. 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 mins.
  8. Once lightly golden on top, remove from oven. Cookies should appear slightly gelatinous as though they need to cook longer, but should firm up once cooled.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes then, roll in confectioners sugar. Set aside to cool another 5 minutes and then roll a second time.

zoomed