Last weekend, my friends and I were all joking that if any vegan recipe has brought us to tears, it’s vegan sugar cookies. Recreating non-dairy sugar cookies is a feat, to say the least. Last week I was busy testing recipes + perfecting the art of making arroz junto with my eyes closed – mantra of this week: recipe forthcoming. On Thursday night, I tried to make a fresh batch of vegan sugar cookies, but my brain was in too many places – split between the here and now of baking + the details of dinner parties – will the soup be ready on time, will I be able to make my own seitan, how will I bind the couscous and on and on.
At the end of my baking session, I pulled some kind of biscuit knock-off out of the oven. You know those moments where the smallest thing makes you feel like the whole world is crashing down around you? Well, maybe you don’t, but let’s just say it was all tears. I was in the kitchen with this sticky doughy mess and Kevin happily plucks one off the dish. He smiles, eats another + next thing I know the whole plate is gone. It’s funny, how other people can turn your failures into an afternoon snack – how there are people in our lives who love us for our mistakes, not despite them.
This month, I’m trying to love myself for my mistakes, not despite them – for the sugar cookies I can’t perfect, for falling asleep on my work even when I am trying to stay awake, for learning my camera step-by-step, picture-by-picture. I have trouble asking for help – sometimes I forget we are all in this soup together. Running in a group again reminds me how much a smile on a cold Wednesday night means along the Charles River. This isn’t that we-are-all-connected kind of feeling, but we’re in this together. Step by step, race by race, cookie by cookie. That we all need somebody in our lives who will tell us to try again + remind us that our failures don’t define our potential, and most importantly that it’s ok to ask for help. After all, there are so many hands who have got us here, to this moment, crying in the kitchen over sugar cookies, remembering the parts of ourselves that are still small + starting to grow.
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus –
– Vegan Sugar Cookies –
a gift adapted from the Minimalist Baker
½ cup vegan butter, softened
½ cup raw sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tbs tapioca flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp almond milk
½ cup vegan butter
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
splash of almond milk
In a large bowl, cream ½ cup vegan butter. You can use a hand mixer or a knife + to chop the butter into small pieces and cream starting with a fork + slowly moving to a whisk as the butter softens. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, applesauce, and whisk for 2-3 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda + baking powder. Gradually mix the dry ingredients the creamed vegan butter, add almond milk until dough is soft + bound together. Cover + refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Divide your dough into three + use a floured surface to roll out your dough until it is ¼” thick. I used mason jars to cut out round circles, but you could also use cookie cutters. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
While the cookies are baking, prepare the frosting by creaming ½ cup vegan butter. Gradually add powdered sugar. Once the mixture becomes too thick to mix, add a splash of almond milk. If the consistency is too thick, then add more milk; however, if the consistency is too thin then continue to add powdered sugar.
Remove the cookies from the oven + allow to cool completely. One cookies are cooled, frost + enjoy!