Tag Archives: vanilla

Christmas Cookies after the fact – spiral cookies

26 Dec

I don’t know about you, but I get a little bit of the blues the day after Christmas.

The television, the music, the store ads, the shopping – Christmas is totally hyped up for over a month and then all of a sudden it’s over.

That’s it.

No more crazy-gift-giving holidays for another year.

Unless you count your birthday as  a crazy-gift-giving holiday – but Macy’s doesn’t throw major sales for your birthday.  (Oh, if they did…)

Sure you can booze up on New Year’s Eve and ease the pain, but that’s a whole week after Christmas.

So maybe just bake these cookies and stay in the holiday spirit for a few more days.

Or at least until your cookies have all been eaten.

Your liver will thank you.

SPIRAL COOKIES

  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup unsifted powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ sticks margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring
  • 1 ½ cups multi-colored nonpareil decors – I just mixed together all the Christmas sprinkles I own(ed)

I did these with a pastry blender.  I guess I’m just a little behind the times, but a food processor would work great too.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars in a bowl.  Add the margarine in pieces and cut in with a pastry blender or pulse in your food processor.  Add the vanilla and process until it forms a ball.  I had to add a little soy milk to get my dough to come together – it’s a personal thing.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and add food coloring to one (or both – two different colors) of the portions.  You could even get really fancy and do three or four colors.

Roll out each piece of dough into similar shapes, then place one on top of the other.  Roll them together a little with your rolling pin.

Starting from one side of your slab, begin rolling it up – sort of like when you do those turkey pinwheel appetizers in the tortillas.  Same concept.  Unless you don’t eat turkey, like me, in which case that metaphor may have been totally lost on you.

Roll the roll in the sprinkles.  This part takes some effort, but I found that just pushing them into the dough worked best.

Wrap the roll up in plastic wrap and let it fridge for about an hour.  Then take it out, slice it up into 1/4 – inch slices, and bake in a 325° oven for 15 – 17 minutes.

(These are totally best fresh out of the oven)
Remove dough pieces from refrigerator. Pour the nonpareil decors into a shallow rectangular dish (such as a 9×13-inch pan.

Christmas Cookies: sugar cookies

22 Dec

It’s Christmas time.

That means you’ve probably already had plenty of sugar cookies.

You’ve tasted crunchy sugar cookies, too-soft sugar cookies, sugar cookies made well and… not so well.

Or maybe, you’ve just been eating those super-soft crazy-delicious sugar cookies that come in the packages at the grocery store.

Whatever.

Here’s a new recipe to add to your repertoire.  The sugar cookie to end all other sugar cookies.

No big deal.

(bad picture, sorry about that)

SUGAR COOKIES

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs-worth of Ener-G egg replacer
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg replacer and mix well. Mix in the soy milk mixture and vanilla until combined. Gradually add in flour mixture combined.

Chill dough for at least one hour in refrigerator (half an hour works just fine).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough, cut out shapes, and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  Once they’re cool, frost them with buttercream and sprinkle with sprinkles.

Rainbow Cupcakes

29 Oct

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Why rainbow?  I don’t know.  I had a whole list of reasons of why I made these cupcakes:  it’s been raining this week, but now it’s sunny; I’ve had a really awesome Friday (got a financial hold taken off my student account, one of my classes was cancelled, and I got my first student paycheck totaling $454).  But when it comes down to it, I saw a picture of a rainbow cupcake a few months ago and I’ve been wanting to make one ever since.  There really isn’t any method to my madness. Sorry about that…

But when you consider how awesome these cupcakes are, it doesn’t matter that I’m totally crazy.  These are just plain old white cupcakes.  Let me preface this with a little disclaimer:  I’m not a huge fan of white cake.  Don’t get me wrong, I love cake.  But if I have a choice of chocolate or vanilla, I’m totally going for the chocolate.  BUT – these cupcakes are an exception to my rule.  Taken from “The Joy of Vegan Baking,” these cupcakes are AH-MAZINGLY yummy.

VANILLA CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 3/4 c. nondairy milk (looking at the recipe now, I realized I did 1 1/4 cup instead of 1 3/4 cup – my cupcakes turned out great anyway, and I think the extra 1/2 cup might even have made my batter too runny)
  • 1/2 c. water, divided
  • 1/2 c. nondairy margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I always eyeball, and I also added a splash of almond extract)
  • 2 1/2 c. unbleached AP flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Prepare your cupcake tin.

Beat the egg replacer with 2 tbsp water until “smooth.” (Don’t ask me what that means, I just beat it for a minute or so)  Add the milk and 1/4 cup of the water.

In a large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup of water and beat to combine.  Add the dry ingredients and the milk mixture.  Beat until combined.

Now, let me give you the low-down of how to construct these cupcakes:  mix up the ingredients to make the batter, then divide it up equally between five small bowls or cups.  Add food coloring (I’m not going to dictate what colors, because I think we all know our colors, and I don’t want to put a damper on your creativity)  Then layer the colors in the cupcake liners.  I just bought a brand new mini cookie scoop, and that worked great, because it was quick and mostly mess-less.  Stick ’em in the oven, bake ’em for about 20 minutes (or exactly 20 minutes, if you’re me), then let cool and top off with some buttercream or cream cheese frosting.