The Sugar Cookie Challenge

Cookies on PlateI hope that you will indulge me in yet another recipe for something sweet… It is Valentine’s Day, after all.

A few months ago amidst the holiday cooking frenzy, a friend told me her goal for the New Year was to bake her own bread.  It made me so happy to hear – I would love everyone  to bake their own.  So I shared a “no-knead” recipe with her.  She in turn sent me a recipe for her favorite holiday cookie with the challenge to veganize it.  This was not so much a smackdown kind of challenge – but more like, let’s see what you can do with this.  I mean, it’s called a “sugar” cookie.  Which is really a butter cookie.  How does an unrefined, low-sugar, low-fat vegan turn a white-flour-white-sugar-dairy-butter cookie into something she can eat?  First step, get out the mixing bowls.

The end result only kind of resembles the original cookie.  This is because the original, Stain-glassed Sugar Cookies, calls for hard candies.  One, I had no hard candies on hand and two, I haven’t eaten a hard candy since I was a tween.  So I had to come up with something else.  Fruit-sweetened berry jams seemed like a good idea and because chocolate is almost always appropriate, I made a batch of chocolate fudge sauce to sandwich into the middle of two cookies.  So – instead of being a one-layer cookie as in the original, mine are made up of two layers of cookie with filling in between.

Oh – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lynn’s Challenge Sugar Cookies
Makes…a lot.  It kind of depends on the cookie cutter size/shape.

Tray of Baked Cookies1/2 cup vegan “butter”
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup maple sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. egg replacer + 3 tbsp. water (whisk together until foamy and set aside for a few minutes)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt

Fruit-sweetened jam (as needed; whatever flavor you love best)
Chocolate Fudge Sauce (recipe at end of post; you will not need the full recipe)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the “butter,” applesauce and sugar and mix for about 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the dough in two equal portions and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Chilled Dough

Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.

On a floured surface, roll out one portion of dough to about 1/8″ thick.  Using your favorite cutter shapes, cut out as many shapes as you can and place the cookies on parchment-covered baking sheets.  Set aside the dough scraps until you’ve rolled out dough portion number 2.  Put the cookie sheet with the cookies into the freezer while you repeat the roll-cut process with the second batch of dough.  Think of the first batch as the bottom of the cookie and the second batch as the tops.  So you’ll want to match the number, shape and size…Make sense?  The photo below shows the final product:

Plate of Cookies

Remember those scraps?  Gather them all together and roll out the dough again.  Cut out more shapes and then discard the remaining scraps.

The cookies on the baking sheets should stay in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  In the preheated oven, bake the cookies in batches (swapping trays halfway through for even baking) for about 12 minutes.

Chocolate Fudge Sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water
1/2 cup maple sugar
1 tsp. powdered stevia
pinch salt
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water.  In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa and salt.  While whisking, add the soy milk, vanilla and cornstarch mixture.  Stir over medium heat until thickened.  Allow to cool.  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and heated up to serve over vegan ice cream…

(The Chocolate Fudge Sauce recipe comes from The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen-Patrick-Goudreau.  I cut the sugar by half, using maple sugar instead of refined white sugar, and added stevia.)

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19 thoughts on “The Sugar Cookie Challenge

  1. trueindigo says:

    I would say you certainly rose to the challenge! I just love those cookies as your profile photo on FB too.

  2. tearoomdelights says:

    They look beautiful, and with chocolate fudge sauce too? Divine! You are a wizard in the kitchen, if I may say so.

  3. thisismyeverest says:

    These look so tasty!

  4. Jenn Jennings says:

    I’m stealing this, Annie, for my readers – it’s just too delicious!

  5. Jenn Jennings says:

    achtung! You have no “reblog” button! How am I to share this?

  6. Jenn Jennings says:

    Reblogged this on the Live Better blog and commented:
    For all those vegetarian lovers out there, my friend Annie has done it yet again – enjoy!

  7. Richgail says:

    Yum! I love the creativity of both the recipe and the presentation, looks lovely! I shall add to my Pinterest recipes to make =)

  8. Little Sis says:

    Hey there Annie. Trying to put together a reasonable Christmas cookie list – my first time going without the butter. Naturally I thought of you, and was not at all surprised to see that you had a recipe for the part of holiday prep that my children enjoy the most – cut out cookies. Wandering through your cookies and bars and drooling. Thank you.

    • An Unrefined Vegan says:

      I’ll let you in on a little secret. Kristy at Keepin It Kind is having a cookie exchange starting soon. I’m sure there will be lots of great recipes. I’m contributing molasses crinkles – also fun cookies to make with kids.

      • Little Sis says:

        Thanks. The cookie thing is kind of my Christmas gig – the part of it that makes me get into the whole nonsense, so would be good to find some things I can actually eat after I make them.

  9. [...] One year ago today: My Sally Field Moment One year and one day ago today: The Sugar Cookie Challenge [...]


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