When word got out that the fabulous vegan chef duo Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero were publishing a new cookbook, I literally squealed with glee. My sister and I are diehard fans of Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Upon breaking the spine of my glossy clean cookbook, I ogled their magnificent renditions of my childhood favorites like NYC Black and White Cookies, Cowboy Cookies, and Big Fat Crispy Rice Squares. They’ve created some delicious new trademarks too, like Sell Your Soul Pumpkin Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows, and Espresso Chip Oatmeal Cookies.
Since it’s nearing holiday season, I decided to make Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies. As a college student, improvising in the kitchen is a daily occurrence. Don’t have a rolling pin handy? I resorted to an olive oil spray can, which flattened those babies out in no time. I delighted myself in filling my cookie sheets with cute pumpkin shaped cut-out cookies. After popping them into the oven, sugar, spice and everything nice wafted around my apartment complex. Even though it’s 80 degrees here in Southern California, a girl can dream of a white Christmas, can’t she?
I used Isa and Terry’s Cinnamon Icing from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World to decorate my cookies. I’ve included that recipe below. These chewy and tangy treats will give you the thrill of the holiday season. Make several batches and share them as gifts for your friends and loved ones. Happy baking!
Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
Makes About 16 Cookies
Whether you’re going all-out with your decorating or you’re part of the gingerbread minimalist movement, this recipe is a surefire winner that will have you singing Christmas carols under your breath and then looking around to make sure no one heard you.
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or a mix of both)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the spice blend:
1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the molasses and soy milk. The molasses and soy milk won’t really blend with the oil but that’s okay.
2. Sift in all the other dry ingredients, mixing about halfway through. When all of the dry ingredients are added, mix until a stiff dough is formed. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour or up to 3 days in advance. If the dough chills longer than an hour you may want to let it sit for 10 minutes to warm up a bit before proceeding.
3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters and use a thin spatula to gently place the cookies on the sheets. If you are using the cookies to decorate a tree or something, remember to punch a hole in their heads (!) before baking. Bake for 8 minutes.
5. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cook for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then move them to a wire rack. Wait until they are completely cool before icing.
From the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong (www.dacapopress.com), a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009.
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 tablespoon soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the margarine, soy milk, and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. The mixture should look opaque and honey brown. If it’s glistening a lot or looks too liquid, add a little extra confectioners’ sugar.
From the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong (www.dacapopress.com), a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009.
—Anna Monette Roberts, Editorial Intern