Today I have a very special guest on my blog - Harini of Tongue Ticklers. I have mentioned her beautiful vegan blog here many times before and I also guest blogged for her early last year.
I 'met' Harini on a Facebook group (way back when her blog was called Tum Yum Treats) and we became friends because of our shared passion for vegan food photography and blogging. I should thank Preethi of Krya for connecting us, otherwise I might not have seen Harini's blog when I did.
I have since then had the pleasure of meeting Harini in person. And today I am really happy to finally have her here with a recipe for delicious Vegan Vanilla Sugar Cookies. I am especially thrilled to have Harini's GLORIOUS photographs of the cookies here on my blog.
In the pic above, I want to have my mouth open at the end of the white slab so the cookie comes rolling right into my mouth. :oP
Harini, thank you so much for taking the time to do this blog post on Veganosaurus and for all the love and effort you have put into the photographs. :)
Now on to Harini's post...
Susmitha and I are very well acquainted but I am not sure whether you know me. Since I believe in forging bonds over food, I won’t take up much of your time. Let’s proceed quickly over to the introduction to what I think are the best vanilla sugar cookies I have ever baked. Does that make you curious?
Calling these ‘my vanilla cookies’ is not entirely correct. I made them mine but they originally belonged to Maggie Beer. I don’t think she will be able to tell that because they have taken quite a turn from the original recipe. So much that I do not recall the original recipe anymore. I first came to know Maggie Beer through MasterChef Australia, and most of her recipes introduced in the show sounded well. You know what I mean, don’t you? I do not try recipes that do not ‘sound’ good, by which I mean that reading the recipe should make my mouth water, must look good and look technically sound. Most of Maggie Beer’s recipes are just that, except that they are not vegan. They are, however, easily adaptable.
You do not need any special or hard-to-find ingredients for making these cookies. All ingredients, save the olive oil, are usually available in any pantry.
Recipe: Vegan Vanilla Sugar Cookies
(Inspired and modified from a Maggie Beer recipe)
Yield: 24 cookies, about 1.5inches in diameter
Refined flour – 2 cups | 288g
Soaked and ground cashewnut paste – 2 tbsp | 32g
Pink salt – 2 generous pinches | 1g
Baking powder – about ½ tsp. | 3g
Vanilla seeds from 2 vanilla sticks
Olive oil – ½ cup | 80g
Caster sugar – ½ cup | 88g
Soy milk / Water / Coconut milk – 1-2 tbsp.
Place flour, cashew paste, salt, baking powder and vanilla seeds in a blender and blend till even. Remove the blended dry flour into a mixing bowl.
Blend olive oil, caster sugar and 1 tbsp. of soy/coconut milk/water lightly and add this to the dry mixture to form a soft dough. Do not knead. Make the dough by mixing with your finger tips, gather and press with your palm. The resultant dough should be soft but break when pressed. Add more milk only if needed. Adjust consistency by sprinkling a teaspoon of flour if too soft. You should not feel the liquid on your finger tips while gathering.
Divide the dough into two thick discs. Wrap them in separate cling films and refrigerate for at least an hour, or till needed. I usually prepare the dough in the night and bake the cookies the next morning.
When ready to bake, remove the dough and let thaw till it softens slightly and you can handle it. Pre-heat oven to 160 deg. C.
Sprinkle your platform with a little flour; place the disc with the cling film on it. Open the cling film and fold it back a little loose. Dust the rolling pin with flour and roll the disc to desired thickness, preferably 3-4mm. The cling film may break as you roll but that should not be a bother. When rolled, peel away the cling film.
Using a 1.5 inch circular cookie cutter, cut several circles. Place them on a baking tray lined with foil/baking sheet. Gather the remnants into a ball, flatten into a disc, place inside the cling film and roll again. Cut and continue making cookies as before.
These do not spread much after baking; hence they can be placed close, separated by just an inch. Place the baking tray in the center rack of the pre-heated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or till the cookies start turning golden around the edges.
Remove and using a flat spatula, carefully transfer the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Store in air-tight containers till needed. If you are traveling, stack ten cookies and roll them in cling film, and again with foil. Fold the ends. They will travel well this way without breaking.