Sugar cookies have been a tradition in my family for generations. Not only at Christmas but certainly that is the most popular time of year to bake them. There are so many cute cookie cutters out there that I've started to make them more often throughout the year so now I usually do Christmas, Easter, and Halloween.
For a long time I used the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. When I became vegan I continued to use it and simply replaced the egg with Ener-G. The cookies still turned out well but somewhere along the line the dough started to give me trouble. It just started to get harder and harder to work with so I went in search of a new recipe.
I tried Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking a couple of times but the texture wasn't quite right for me. Then I came across a recipe online entitled "Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookies." I'm hesitant about any recipe that has "perfect" in the title but these cookies actually are perfect. They are really easy to make, the dough comes together nicely, and texture is just as sugar cookie dough ought to be. It rolls out well and comes back together to re-roll as needed. And they taste delicious!
The finished cookies do have what is - in my opinion - the perfect sugar cookie texture. They are thick and soft; almost underdone but not quite. I am not a fan of icing on my cookies so I always sprinkle them with colored sugar before baking instead of icing them after. CORRECTION: Brian decorates them with colored sugar before baking. That's his job. I can't take the credit for those beautifully-decorated bells and wreaths!
Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookies
(recipe by john&kristie, modified by Amanda)
1 cup non-dairy margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
Colored sugar for decorating
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), beat together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the Ener-G, water, and vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds.
2. Gradually add the flour and baking powder. Add the Tofutti and beat all ingredients are combined and you have a smooth dough. (If you didn't measure your ingredients carefully and the dough seems too dry, add a bit of water - one tbsp. at a time - to get the right consistency. Conversely, if the dough seems too sticky, add a bit of flour - one tbsp. at a time - until it forms a smooth ball.)
3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Remove one half of the dough from the refrigerator.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Decorate with colored sugar.
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container.
Makes 36 cookies.
What's your perfect sugar cookie? Thick and soft? Thin and crisp? Sprinkled with sugar or iced?