Dec 7th 2010
Next on our cookie agenda are these lovely lemon ice box cookies. These tiny little cookies are the perfect bite-sized snack or after dinner treat. They would be great gathered in a pretty bag and given as a gift. They’re sweet and crunchy with just the right amount of lemon.
You start with the lemon zest. There is something that always excites me about putting lemon zest in a recipe. Perhaps it’s because I know it’s going to be delicious. I can’t wait till we have a home where I can have a lemon tree. I hate buying lemons, as I never seem to use them quickly enough, so I often don’t buy them and then I don’t have them when I need them…but I digress.
For this recipe we’re going to use a food processor. Make sure you have a big enough bowl (a mini food processor won’t do) or you’re better off just working by hand with a dough mixer. It is rather pleasing to watch your flour and Earth Balance mixture turn to dough, just like that, but don’t get carried away and over mix. Remember to pulse!
This makes a fairly large batch, probably double what I was expecting, but the tiny cookies will most likely “magically” disappear once made. Plus you can keep the dough frozen for a few weeks and bake a few whenever you like.
Now I have a little confession with this recipe. As I mentioned before, one of the most difficult parts of taking a standard cookie recipe and making it vegan is replacing the eggs. Eggs play many different rolls in baked goods and different substitutes serve different purposes. Since this recipe used only egg yolks, I wanted to add a little bit of moisture back into the cookies. The obvious answer here is water. So I plopped in 3 tablespoons of water, before I had mixed the dough, and right before I remembered that there were only egg yolks, not full eggs (think less volume). Immediately the dough was overly wet and impossible to handle. I had to add back about a 1/4 cup of flour to bring it to a better consistency.
That being said, you might be fine just leaving out the water all together and only using 2 cups of flour, but I’ll give you the recipe as I made it since I’m sure it still comes out tasting fantastic.
Lemon Icebox Cookies
from Martha Stewart, originally found here
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon zest (about 4 small lemons)
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup Earth Balance
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling
Put the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest in your food processor and pulse until combined. The lemon zest will basically disappear.
Add the Earth Balance into the bowl and pulse until it combined into a granulated mixture. Add water and lemon juice until a dough is formed.
Separate the dough into 3 sections and shape into 1 – 2 inch rolls. Wrap in plastic and freeze for at least two hours.
Preheat the oven to 300º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On another piece of parchment, sprinkle the remaining sugar and roll your logs to coat the outside. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds and lay about an inch apart on your baking sheets. Cook for 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets half way through. Let cookies cool on a wire rack and enjoy.
Dec 6th 2010
Dear readers, in the next few weeks, Cute and Delicious will be filled with cookies. You don’t mind, right? I was searching for inspiration for some holiday cookies and kept coming back to a bunch of Martha Stewart recipes. I felt it was most necessary that these be veganized, so I’ll be doing just that, and sharing my experience and recipes with all of you.
I started with a very simple and appealing recipe for Espresso-Bean Shortbreads. This appeared to be not only one of the most enticing flavors, but also the easiest to make a vegan version. The only non-vegan ingredient is butter, which I personally don’t even think about for a second, as Earth Balance is such a superb replacement. It’s really a no-brainer. With cookies, it starts getting tricky with replacing eggs.
Now there are a few things you need to know about Martha Stewart cookies.
- They use a lot of butter. This recipe uses 1 1/2 cups. Mostly they average about one cup. Consider yourself warned. Like I said, Earth Balance works great as a substitute.
- They involve a bit of advanced preparation. There is nearly always a fair amount of chilling time, so make sure you read through each recipe in advance. Don’t think you’ll just be popping these out of the oven in 1/2 an hour.
The little espresso guys are easy to make and easier to eat. They’re dense, slightly crunchy and not too sweet. Moreover, they definitely pack a caffeine kick. Not cookies you want to eat right before bed time, trust me. I didn’t have a single complaint with the recipe, except that it took quite awhile with multiple chilling and freezing periods. I would recommend making them sort of flat, and not to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
So here are the humble but delicious beginnings of my cookie marathon. I personally think cookies make a great gift, and the ones here are sure to impress, but also travel well. Even though I’ve just begun, I can already see how easy it will be to get lost in a black hole of holiday cookies…but off we go anyway.
from Martha Stewart, originally found here
- 1 1/2 cup Earth Balance
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
- 2 Tbsp warm water
- 2 Tbsp finely ground espresso beans
- 3 cups plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
Cream together Earth Balance and sugar in a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat until slightly fluffy.
Combine the espresso powder and warm water in a small bowl and stir until combined. Beat the espresso mixture and beans into the EB and sugar.
Whisk together flour and salt and gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, and your hands, create small ovals bean shaped cookies. Place each cookie on the baking sheet 1 – 2 inches apart. To create the split in the coffee bean press a chopstick over the top of each cookie. Place each tray in the freezer to firm for 10 – 20 minutes
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes rotating sheets half way through. The bottoms should be browned, with the tops, just barely browning when you remove them. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.
Nov 2nd 2010
I wanted to make a few special cookies to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. I searched for a skull cookie cutter but to no avail. The closest I could come up with was a skull and cross bones. Not quite the same.
I went ahead and just drew the skulls on larger cookies with some royal icing. I’m still working on my technique, although I think these came out nicer than my Star Wars cookies. I would have liked to draw on some roses and other decorations but I don’t think I couldn’t have managed the detail. Thinking maybe next time I can paint food coloring on for more delicate lines.
Most importantly, they tasted awesome and were still pretty cute.
Cookie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
Icing recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking
Aug 3rd 2010
Last night I made Star Wars cookies. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a huge Star Wars fan, although I really like the Jawas and R2D2. Shawn on the other hand, he likes Star wars. We have a bunch of little Star Wars characters around our apartment.
Anyway, back to the cookies. I used the sugar cookie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
. I wanted to put this recipe to the test after using the sugar cookie recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking
on many occasions. It has worked well for me, but it’s definitely a bit more involved.
The recipe from VCIYCJ was much simpler to put together and easy to work with. The cookies were fairly soft and very sweet. Perhaps next time I’ll cook them so they’re a bit more crispy. Also, I highly recommend chilling them a little bit longer after rolling them before they bake so they don’t spread.
Part of the reason I wanted to make these guys was to practice my cookie decorating technique. Yeah. I definitely made my frosting too thick. While usually I have the opposite problem, things running where you don’t want them to go, it took a lot of effort to get these guys frosted. I got in a little bit of trouble for not decorating any of the Boba Fetts, Next time!
I would love to say that they came out perfectly. They didn’t. They were cute. They were yummy. That’s accomplishment enough for the first attempt. I’ll report back when they come out as I envision.
I do have to mention one other thing, well, because I’m really excited about it. Cute and Delicious was mentioned as one of the Top 7 Vegan Blogs by Native Foods. Oh how could I not be flattered when I am complimented by one of the most delicious vegan restaurants in southern California? Not to mention, they love my cats. Have you been to Native Foods? It’s been a favorite of mine for quite some time. Check out this awesome Ensalada Azteca I had when we visited the Native Foods in Palm Springs a few weeks ago. Yum!
See, I balanced the cookies with some salad.
Jan 18th 2010
Vegan sweets and treats
Though Los Angeles is extremely fortunate to have a number of great vegan restaurants, we are severely lacking in the area of vegan desserts. Though a few places have a few items available, and yeah I know Babycakes is open (but yes I like my gluten and sugar thank you very much), it’s just not the same as what you might find elsewhere. Luckily on our trip we were able to visit two completely vegan bakeries and sample some delicious treats.
Our first stop was Pattycake Bakery in Columbus, Ohio. This adorable storefront was filled with a plethora of home style desserts including cookies, whoopie pies, muffins, cupcakes and more. They have all the stuff you’re always craving. While Shawn and I oogled over the huge selection and tried to decide what to get, the place hustled and bustled with people buying tons of stuff. We ended up getting a whole box ourselves, trying to sample as much as possible, filling it with three different types of cookies, a whoopie pie, and a cupcake. Now I’m a cookie girl and these were some damn good cookies. The whoopie pie was also moist and delicious, wonderfully sweet with just the right amount of creme filling. I wish I had tried one in the other flavors they had to offer. I think if I lived within driving distance of this place I would be there everyday getting cookies. No joke. Everything was high quality without being over the top. Pattycake Bakery was completely delightful.
Also in Columbus, On the Fly, where we got the awesome vegan empanada and chili, had some desserts on display to choose from. Since we knew we were on our way to Pattycake, we didn’t have a chance to try anything, but I have to mention them anyway, because they were so gorgeous. The cupcakes were topped in chocolate ganache as well as vegan buttercream and just looked delightful. They also had jars full of cookies. Did I mention I love cookies? I do.
No trip East would be complete without a stop at the infamous Vegan Treats. While you can get their delicious desserts at almost every vegan and vegetarian restaurant from New York to Pennsylvania, it’s well worth it to make the trip to their storefront in Bethlehem, PA. Here you can get their personal sized french pastries, along with donuts and other specialties. I’m just going to come out and say, if you haven’t had Vegan Treats, you haven’t what is arguably the best of the best when it comes to vegan bakeries. Having been in business for over ten years and catering to so many places on the east, they really know their stuff. Vegan Treats is so delicious and decadent and amazing I just can’t say enough good stuff about it.
While there, we loaded up on desserts, going for anything with a holiday theme, and some donuts. Are they not the cutest desserts ever? We also had to show our love and get some hoodies to take home once the desserts were gobbled up. The new designs they have are possibly as cute as all the desserts. Luckily, now you can get some of their tee-shirts online (go support vegan businesses!).
Unfortunately, since we traveled over the holidays, we were unable to go to a few sweet stops on the way, including Sticky Fingers Bakery in DC or Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in NY. We did get to make up somewhat for the lack of ice cream at Spiral Diner in Dallas, Texas. They had a small case filled with baked goods, including monster vegan peanut butter cups, but we were ultimately lured in to the sweet call of an ice cream sundae. Shawn picked out the Chocolate Mountain Mudslide, a brownie topped with their signature i-scream, chocolate sauce, nuts and whipped cream. I was going to order the Deathstar Sundae, another brownie topped with i-scream, espresso and whipped cream, but Shawn got the last brownie. Unbelievable! I stole a few bites of his as payback but nuts on ice cream freak me out. The i-scream and brownie were awesome though, and much more than you’d expect from a diner of any kind.
Are you overloaded on sweets yet? Don’t worry, we’re done here for now. Next, we’ll be on our way home!