Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Black & White Cookies

Are those vegan Black & White Cookies?  Why yes they are, indeed!  I have been wanting a black and white cookie since I went vegan and have, in fact never satisfied that craving.  It's been 3 years, and today was the day.  It was very practical actually.  My housemate just had his birthday with no celebratory dessert.  He is lactose intolerant and allergic to nuts.  Vegan baking is my pleasure, so Happy Birthday Mattias, and thanks for letting me taste test the first cookie, maybe first 2 cookies....

The other great thing?  I used flour from a local sustainable source, ordering from our new favorite place Edible Alchemy as well as vegan, unbleached turbinado sugar that I blasted in my Vitamix for a finer texture, no eggs, no dairy, and you could never tell.

I based it on this recipe, but made some alterations including using a butter cream instead of just sugar and water for icing, which I think took this goody to the next level of goodness..  Below is what I did:

Vegan Black & White Cookies

1 cup soy milk (adjust based on how wet your dough is.  I ended up adding a 1/4 cup)
Juice of 1/2 lime or 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup canola oil or other mild cooking oil
1 1/4 cups vegan sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups powdered sugar, or 2 cups regular if you're like me and didn't have any powdered sugar
Cocoa Powder, I used Dark Cocoa Powder, but you can also use melted vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup - 1 cup Earth Balance or other buttery spread
Vanilla Extract, of fresh vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the soy milk and lime/lemon juice in a bowl by themselves and let sit for a couple of minutes until they start to curdle.  Once you're satisfied with the curdled state of your soy milk, add the rest of your wet ingredients and whisk together. In a separate large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients together and mix together. Poor your wet ingredients into the dry ingredient and mix until thoroughly combined.
Give the cookies enough space, the recipe says about 3 from each other on the lightly greased cookie sheet or on Silpat, which I used, or parchment paper. I just used 2 large spoons to spoon them onto the cookie sheet, which resulted in not perfectly circular cookie.  I'm okay with that, but if you're not then you might want to fill a pastry bag with a round tip and make a pretty circle onto the cookie sheet.  
Bake the cookies at 350 for 15-18 minutes (depends on your oven).  Once slightly browning on the bottom, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet so they can be separated better from the cookie sheet and placed lovingly on a cooling rack.  I take out a rack from the oven and use it as a cooling rack because I don't have a real one.  Once cooled, flip them over so you can ice the flat side.
When you want to ice, get your buttery spread to room temp and mix thoroughly with half the sugar, about a teaspoon of vanilla extract, or scrape a 1/4 of vanilla pod.  I just used a fork to get it as evenly mixed as possible.  Using a pastry spatula, or a knife, spread half the flat side of the cookie with this deliciousness.
You can also do the same for the chocolate icing, just mixing in cocoa powder to taste, or melted chocolate chips.  I was silly, and made my chocolate icing first with just hot water, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder.  It still turned out pretty good, but I think the butter cream version would have been awesome.

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