Friday, February 21, 2020

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

At work, I have folks who can and can’t eat different foods. One of my friends can’t have dairy, and she is terribly kind and says it’s ok that I don’t always bring dairy-free treats. I love to bake with butter, and it can be hard to substitute. For some cookies, it’s no problem, and there are great vegan butters out on the market now. I try to make dairy-free occasionally, and my husband also found dairy-free white chocolate and butterscotch chips, so I need to get baking! I also have a gluten-free friend at work, and I am going to start wrapping my head around that.

These cookies come from a vegan blog and made some very simple changes that worked for me. My friend can eat eggs, so I used regular eggs. I also used granulated sugar instead of coconut sugar. I shredded my apples and when writing up the recipe I noticed I could have used chopped apples. I think that’s why the cookies in the original blog photo had more chunks and bumps than mine. Mine look plain, but they are tasty.

These are not difficult to make, but I read the comments and thought that adding oats would be ok. Some of the comments noted that the dough was really soft, so oats would help. I also noticed that folks like to make substitutes, and that can greatly impact a baking recipe, since baking is science. My substitutes were nearly identical, so I figured I would be ok. It’s a good lesson to be very thoughtful when making substitutions when baking, because a lot can go wrong.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies
3/4 cup vegan butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup shredded or chopped apple
1-3/4 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
Cinnamon Sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the vegan butter and sugar on medium until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and apple and stir to combine. Add the flour, oats, salt, and baking powder and stir until combined. Shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls and roll the balls in cinnamon sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for about 12 minutes, until the cookies are barely browned along the edges. The cookies will be pale. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Vegan in the Freezer

Friday, February 14, 2020

Maraschino Cherry Cookie Bars

Happy Valentine’s Day! As an adult, I don’t really do that much to celebrate, but I wanted to make something festive for the day. I figured that something with cherries would be perfect (and red) and I had pinned these bars a short while ago. They seemed very straight-forward, and the cherries would add a lovely bit of color. Thankfully, they don’t call for any unusual ingredients, other than cherries, so I picked some up at the store this week.

These cookies are easy to make, and the bars are thin but cakey. The bars themselves don’t brown all that much, but the cookies will be puffy and look set when they are baked. I let mine cool overnight, as the biggest challenge with this recipe was that I needed two mixer bowls, so I needed to do the dishes! The frosting contains a small amount of cream cheese, so they have a nice tang. I found the frosting to be too thick to spread, so I added about a tablespoon of milk to make it spread easier. These bars eat like cake, and I love the extra sweetness of the frosting. Enjoy!

Maraschino Cherry Cookie Bars
16 oz jar maraschino cherries
3/4 butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp almond extract
2½ cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

¼ cup butter, room temperature
2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
¼ teaspoon vanilla 
3 cup powdered sugar
About 1 tablespoon milk
Red sprinkles

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Drain the cherries and cut them into eights. Place the cherry pieces in a colander to continue to drain while you make the cookies.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the almond extract, stirring on medium until combined. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Once the dough comes together, fold in the chopped cherries. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until set and lightly golden around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool before frosting.

Make the frosting: in a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar on medium low until combined. Add milk, as needed, to get the frosting to a spreading consistently. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled bars. Top with red sprinkles and then cut into bars.

Recipe from One Acre Vintage Home

Friday, February 7, 2020

Sacher Torte Cookies

It’s been nothing but rain here and it’s so dreary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m from this area and I don’t mind the weather normally, but our current rain is just too much. The normal trickle of a stream by my house has turned into a raging river and there has been a landslide near my house. It’s still supposed to rain but I am hopeful for a little less rain soon.

Figuring out this week’s cookies, I knew I would need to pick up a couple of ingredients. I went to the store, as I needed some other items, and luckily I was able to get the pudding mix and preserves that I needed. I’m not sure if it is the rain or not, but the jam aisle at my store was nearly wiped clean. Do people eat PB&J when it’s rainy? I have no idea.

This cookie started out as a thumbprint cookie, but I don’t like thumbprints where the filling is uncooked preserves. A Sacher Torte traditionally does have an apricot filling, but I wanted to see how it worked with adding the preserves to the cookies, making a chocolate/apricot bite. These cookies don’t contain sugar, other than what is in the pudding and preserves, so they are not super sweet. I was worried that the preserves would make the dough too soft, but they were fine. I like the crunch of the sugar and flavor of the preserves is hard to pinpoint, but these cookies are great!

Sacher Torte Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
3.9 ounces package instant chocolate pudding
1 egg
2 cups flour
½ cup apricot preserves

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and pudding mix on medium until light. Add the egg and stir to incorporate. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the preserves.

Shape the dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until set. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate and vegetable shortening in the microwave, heating in 30 second increments. Once smooth, drizzle over the cookies.