Okay, so I will confess that these are not CHRISTMAS themed cookies but they are certainly the same KIND of cookie that you’ll want to make this holiday season. The reason I don’t have any photos just yet is because I’m planning on having a little cookie decorating shin dig but wanted to make sure you guys had this recipe in time to have your own little cookie party before the holidays.
I’m still recovering from this weekend – we went down to New Orleans for Dan’s dad’s birthday and if you’ve ever been to New Orleans, then you understand. In the magical land of NOLA, the bars never close, you can drink in the streets, and everything is haunted. I’m not 100% sure I believe in ghosts but they sure have some creepy stories to convince you if you’re sitting on the fence about it. We decided to go on a walking ghost tour of the city and it was really interesting hearing about the history of the city (and all the tragic events that occurred there over the years).
The city was founded by the French in 1718 but was under Spanish rule for some time after the Seven Years’ War. There are certain aspects of the city that remind me a lot of Argentina, which is why I bring it up. The Spanish names of the streets are laid in tiles in the cement and on the corners of the buildings, much like South America. Then, you’ve got these beautiful balconies with French windows and bright shutters overlooking the street. The front of the homes will typically face an inner courtyard which we didn’t get to see a lot of, but I can only imagine what it looked like. If you haven’t been, the French Quarter is certainly something else.
In the final third of Spanish rule, the city was overtaken by two very large fires that burned down most of the city. So, between fires, a yellow fever outbreak, the war of 1812, and Hurricane Katrina… there were apparently a lot of deaths. AND a lot of deaths leads to you guessed it… a lot of hauntings. I’m not entirely sure I can do any of these stories justice, so you should just Google it for yourself. As far as food goes, I would recommend checking out The Three Muses because their Tofu Rice Bowl is absolutely amazing.
SIDE NOTE: I have also been inspired to attempt make vegan beignets now, so I’m sure that will be an endeavor in itself.. maybe closer to Marti Gras. That, and I convinced myself I NEED a fancy hat.
BIKES AND MINNESOTA. YAY.
Also – I am about to book tickets to see my friend, Albert in New York in January and I am sooo excited!
So anyways, these cookies are the perfect consistency – not too soft and not too tough. I REALLY enjoy those soft sugar cookies you get at the grocery store with the pink frosting and sprinkles, but they are not ideal for cut outs. The icing is also incredibly easy to make and pipes nicely through the tip of a plastic bag for easy clean up.
NOTE: Be sure to plan ahead for this recipe because it needs to chill for a few hours.
Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
Servings: 2 dozen medium sized cut outs
Time: 4 hours, does not include icing time
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 TBSP cornstarch
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 1/3 cup non dairy milk
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 3/4 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 TBSP water
- 1 tsp melted coconut oil
- Cream butter in a large bowl with a stand up (or hand held) mixer until smooth, about two minutes.
- Add sugar and mix on high for about 2 minutes or until well mixed. Add cornstarch and non dairy milk and mix until combined. Add vanilla and almond extract. Mix to combine.
- Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix with whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients in 1/4 cup increments with mixer on low. Continue until the entire flour mixture has been added, being careful not to overtax. If the mixture seems sticky, add a LITTLE additional flour (in TBSP increments) until the dough is a good rolling consistency.
- Divide dough in half and roll onto individual baking sheets, being mindful of how THICK you want the cookies to me. The more uniform you roll, the better they will turn out. Flour the rolling pin if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Chill the dough in the fridge for al least 2 hours. You may freeze overnight if needed.
- Before removing the dough from the fridge, preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Remove dough from fridge and cut out desired shapes. Place on a lined cookie sheet. Continue rolling excess dough and cutting shapes until the dough has been all used up.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges just start to brown slightly. All to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. If you are icing your cookies – allow them to cool completely before living.
- If icing, whisk all icing ingredients together in a large bowl. You want it to be pretty thick but also easy enough to spread. Add food coloring if desired. I typically fill a sandwich bag with the icing and cut a small hole at the corner to direct the icing in a line. It also leads to easy clean up!
- Decorate cookies with icing – allow 12 hours for icing to harden and 24 if shipping in the mail to allow for proper set time.