Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vegan Cookie Press Cookies

I have one of those cool Pampered Chef cookie presses that I got at a yard sale and makes all manner of adorably shaped cookies, but most of the recipes you see online aren't vegan.

I knew I had used it before and found a vegan recipe, but there were a few online and I hadn't bookmarked my winner and couldn't remember what I had done...  Bummer!

I reached out to the vegan groups I'm in asking for suggestions and nothing came back. No one had a tried and true vegan cookie press cookie recipe.  I guess that's not altogether surprising, but it was disappointing none the less.

Finally, this morning, I said, "Well, I'll just have to try out a bunch of different ones until I get it right!"

My 3 year old was eager for the prospect of, "We are going to cook and eat cookies all day if we have to."

Sadly for him, but wonderfully for me, the very first recipe I tried turned out perfect.  It's the Starry Fudge Shortbread recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar .  I should have known that Isa and Terry would have the answer, as they do to all my vegan baking quandaries.  The recipe says to squeeze the dough out of a piping bag, but it worked perfectly for the cookie press.

They had this awesome tip to press directly onto your cookie sheet, not use parchment paper, because you want the cookie to stick to the pan as you are pressing so that it pulls away from the cookie press.  Genius, I tell ya!

I chose these pretty flowers.  Mostly I thought of how on my daughter's first birthday I rolled out sugar cookie dough and cut out little leaves with a fondant cutter and then formed them into five petaled flowers to make plumeria...  If only I had had this then.  I spent hours making just a batch of cookies.  These took me all of ten minutes not including cooking.  You live and learn.

The finished product is just slightly golden on the bottom and buttery hello on top.  I added these sprinkles because I have whimsy.  They are from India Tree, the company that makes natural food dyes.  No red dye #30 and you get pretty colorful sprinkles.  It's a pretty cool deal.

Here's the recipe, but I want you to buy the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar too, because it's awesome (make the Sell Your Soul Pumpkin Cookies and thank me later).  

1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (I used half Earth Balance and half coconut oil and it worked fine, I might try just coconut oil next time).

2/3 cup sugar

a pinch of salt 

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon almond extract (If you make this and use a different extract here for a fun flavor- like maybe peppermint- let me know in the comments!)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup nondairy milk

Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.  I made half the recipe and it covered a cookie sheet and a half, so keep that in mind with the press cookies.  Again, you gotta do the trick of going directly onto the pan, not parchment paper, for good stickiness.  

I tried with all coconut oil and it worked great!  I also used peppermint extract and it was yummy.

Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Home Romero basically taught me to bake with their cupcake book and I highly recommend that one for anyone starting out with vegan baking or looking to improve their game.

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