Extra Crispy Vegan Sugar Cookies
Sometimes life demands the extra crispy crunch of a cookie.
Crumbs cascading down your shirt, a thin-film of buttery shine on your face, two hands stacked high with sugary goodness – Is there really anything better? These are the kind of cookies that can cure an unkind Monday or particularly mundane Wednesday, satisfy the strongest of late-night cravings, and make an allergen-friendly splash at your July 4th festivities.
And the best part of all? Not a single soul will know they’re vegan.
If you’re surprised that I’m morphing into some kind of vegan baker, you’re not alone – No one is as shocked as me. But as I’ve detailed here and here, this vegan thang has lots of benefits, and as I’ve developed an ever progressing knack for its baking idiosyncrasies, I’ve wanted to roll with it more and more.
From my admittedly novice perspective, the pinnacle of vegan baking is when you produce a product that no one would ever guess is vegan. Achieving a taste, flavor, and texture that mimics traditional baking methods while eschewing the power of dairy is a high bar to reach, and I’d hardly say I’ve met it full-stop. But in the sole, isolated case of these extra crispy sugar cookies, I have done it. I have achieved vegan baking Nirvana, a state of enlightenment I didn’t realize existed until I shoveled 12 of these down my throat with nary a breath of air to digest them.
They are perfect. Truly, wholly, utterly, perfect. And they need to be in your life stat.
Seeing as the glorious 4th is impending I decided to give a topically red, white, & blue flair to these beauties, but obviously they can be transformed to meet any occasion – Think cute little pumpkins covered in sugary orange glitter, Christmas trees dusted in a scheme of green, red, and white, and giant hearts sheathed in a pink nonpareil coating. The incarnations are endless, but the recipe stays the same.
I’ll be frank and confess that these star shapes were a bit tricky to deal with, so beware if you head down this path. The problem with non-dairy butters is that water is a key component in making them spreadable – a fine trait in and of itself, but when applied to baking produces a tangible weakness. The compounding impact of dairy-free butter + no egg means a mealier dough that intrinsically has less bind to it, so you need to proceed a bit gingerly.
When I tested this recipe using circle, square, and even heart-shaped cutters, the transfer process from parchment paper to baking sheet was completely seamless. But with these stars, the instability of those five adorable prongs created major issues, with lots of crumbling and snapping of my little peaks as I desperately tried to keep them intact. Clearly doing it is possible, but it took FOREVER, so if you have loads of patience, go for it. Otherwise, I’d suggest following this recipe with more “whole” shapes that leave less room for errant crumbling.
Beyond my minor star snafu there’s no downside to making these, other than an inevitable post-binge battle with your jeans. The crispy, crunchy texture is delightfully unreal, I could not believe I had managed such a genuine cookie vibe from a decidedly vegan cookie. And the taste! The taste is wildly buttery, which feels so odd and contradictory to say, but there’s no other way to describe them – Even Dave couldn’t stop himself from devouring them, and he is as deeply carnivore as they come.
And of course, we can’t ignore that sugary flavor. These cookies are joyously sugary, but without bringing that excessive, my-teeth-really-hurt kind of sweet. You can easily eat 10 in one sitting, which frankly could be a pro or a con, but who cares – Get baking! x
Extra Crispy Vegan Sugar Cookies
- In large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In small dish combine the Ener-G and warm water, stirring until no clumps remain. Next, in another mixing bowl whisk the egg replacer mixture, sugar, butter, and vanilla until well combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring consistently until dough takes shape. Once dough is formed, transfer to refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
- When ready, sandwich dough between two lightly floured pieces of parchment paper, then using a rolling pin roll out into a thin, even layer. Remove top parchment piece and cut out shapes, then transfer to greased baking sheet. Top as you like with sprinkles, then bake for 8-9 minutes until edges just begin to brown. Cool to room temperature, then eat!