Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegan Molasses Chai Cookies {Recipe}

I found this recipe in Comfort Cuisine for the Soul, a local church cookbook, and I thought, now this would be delish if turned into a vegan cookie!  There are several church members and friends of mine that eat vegan to promote a healthy, plant based lifestyle.  I myself am a vegetarian for the last few years which, with exercise, has allowed me to stop taking medication for my heart disease.  For those that don't know, vegans do not eat any animal products.  No meat, cheeses, butter, milk, eggs; not even in the fine print of packaged food. ~ Food companies can be very specific and crafty.  Whey, casein, etc. in the ingredients for instance mean the product contains milk. 

This cookie is very soft and reminiscent of gingerbread with less spice.  It could easily be decorated with royal icing to give it more pizazz.  So if you want some variety for the holidays use this recipe.  Even people who love their butter (me) loved this cookie.  I'll include the recipe as I made it this round, but next time I will decrease the sugar by half a cup*.  The cookies are naturally sweet and the frosting takes care of any extra sweetness needed.

1 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance, Veg. Shortening, homemade with coconut oil)
1 cup sugar*
1 cup molasses
5 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ginger
pinch of cloves (no more than 1/8 teaspoon)
1/2 cup of strongly brewed Chai tea, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of vegan butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of vegan milk (I used regular almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of lemon extract

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in molasses.  Add dry ingredients alternately with the tea.  Mix well.  Add vanilla.  Chill overnight, or at least a few hours, rolled out between two sheets of wax paper.  Roll thin, about 1/8-1/4 inch and cut with cookie cutters.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven 7-8 minutes.  Keep re-chilling the batter as needed to maintain shapes of cookies.  As they cool, make frosting by beating all ingredients until smooth.  Apply frosting by spreading with a spatula, or if you are as anal retentive as I, then put it in a piping bag.  Sprinkle sanding sugar on them for extra sparkle.
Prior to baking.
Right out of the oven.  They loose the puffy look as they cool.
Add sanding sugar for extra sparkle.
Or leave it off for a different look.
Try them.  They are tasty.