Saturday, December 10, 2011
Vegan Christmas Cookies Take Over My Life
Blame it on being back in the bosom of the family home. Or perhaps on the fact that I don't have a sewing room set up right now and hence couldn't spend a bunch of time making home made gifts. Or maybe I've been listening to the new She & Him* album too much and I'm just plain off my rocker with Christmas spirit. Whatever the cause, this year I was possessed to make Christmas cookies.
Oh sure, I usually make one or two batches of holiday treats as the holiday season advances, but I have never before done what I did this year. I made double batches of four different cookie-ish treats, froze them all, and flung them into the hands of many of the people who I care about. The nice thing about this cookie array is that one variety is raw, gluten-free and sugar-free, one is wheat-free and low in refined sugar, one is traditional and spicy and not overly sweet, and one is all about the sugar and the icing. Something for everyone!
I tried a few new recipes this year and was super happy with how everything turned out. I needed recipes that came together relatively quickly because I was making these in the evenings after work in the tiny window of time I have before I fall into bed, exhausted (at approximately 9:30 PM, I'm a real party animal).
The first kind I tackled was gingerbread. I used my recipe from last year, only this time (thanks to my mom) I had more festive cookie cutters. I actually doubled the spices in the batter this year because I wanted more flavour in the cookies this time. I also rolled out the dough a bit thicker because I wanted the cookies to be softer. It worked like a charm. I brought these into work and saw people making off with handfuls of them.
The next batch were these kamut thumbprint cookies from the Oh She Glows blog. I think they might be the first one of Angela's recipes that I've tried, and I was supermega impressed. The ingredients required a trip to Rainbow Foods (since I don't really ever have kamut flour just lying around) but it was totally worth it. These have almost no refined sugar in them and they are full of healthy nuts and whole grains and coconut oil. And, as one of my coworkers (who asked for the recipe and then went home and made two batches of her own) (and she didn't even know what kamut was before I gave her one of these cookies) said, "I don't feel cheated at all!" They're just super delicious. Easily the favourite of the bunch.
These almond sugar cookies with almond glaze were a veganized version of this recipe, which I saw on Pinterest. The only ingredient I needed to replace was the butter, and I just subbed in some regular Earth Balance margarine. These are amazingly delicious but very sugary sweet. I can eat about one per day as a treat and that's it. However, I predict they will be a big hit when I bring them into the office. People love sugar cookies, and the almond extract makes these really special.
Last but not least, today I made these raw truffles using my make-your-own-Larabar recipe with a half cup of cocoa powder and a tablespoon of coconut oil added. I refrigerated the mixture for half an hour and then rolled it into balls, then rolled those balls in cocoa powder or sliced almond bits. Raw, sugar-free, gluten-free and damn tasty.
So I've packed up another tin of treats to take with me to Megan and Dave's house tonight. Megan and I are going to put some booze into some soy nog and/or hot chocolate and then we're going to exchange gifts and watch White Christmas. What could be better? Nothing. Nothing could.
*Yes, Zooey Deschanel is an ex-vegan. But that album is good and her new TV show is hilarious.