Happy (snowy) Monday! Did it snow where you are? I woke up to a snowy/slushy mess this morning, which meant…
Time for puggle snow boots! And maybe time to plan a vacation somewhere warm. Suggestions?
When I was brainstorming a recipe to share today, I immediately settled on candy cane cookies. You see, I happen to be married to a cookie monster, and each Christmas, Aaron always returns from visiting his family with a giant tin of candy cane cookies. He loves these cookies, and while I’ve considered veganizing them in the past, I always get too intimidated. His mom has been making this same recipe for more than thirty years – that’s a lot of history (and pressure)!
Turns out, these candy cane cookies are surprisingly simple. They’re essentially crisp sugar cookies, dressed up with almond extract and crushed peppermint candies, and easily veganized with a little egg replacer and vegan buttery spread.
I’m actually not big on most cookies (ice cream is more my jam), but there is something about the subtle almond flavor that totally has me hooked on these. Almond extract is intoxicating in that warm and cozy sort of way, and every time I use it, I consider dabbing just a little on my pulse points as a delicious perfume. Please tell me I’m not the only one?
I had a good feeling about these cookies when I took them out of the oven, and an even better feeling when I proudly presented a plate of them to Aaron and found only crumbs remaining a few minutes later. I quartered the original recipe, thinking “who needs four dozen cookies?”, but perhaps we all could use an extra dozen (or three) of these in our lives.
- ¼ cup vegan powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons vegan shortening, cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons earth balance buttery spread
- ⅜ teaspoon ener-g egg replacer mixed with ½ tablespoon warm water
- scant ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon beet juice (or natural vegan red food coloring)
- 1 tablespoon crushed peppermint candies
- 1 tablespoon vegan powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the ¼ cup powdered sugar, shortening, buttery spread, egg replacer, and almond and vanilla extracts.
- Once well-combined, mix in the flour and salt.
- Divide the dough in half and blend the beet juice (or food coloring) into half of the dough.
- Using one teaspoon of dough, roll a 4 inch "rope" strip from each color. Place the strips side by side, pressing together lightly, and twist like rope. Place on a baking sheet (no need to grease it) and curve the top down to form the handle of the candy cane. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to lightly brown around the edges.
- Mix together the crushed peppermint candies and remaining tablespoon of powdered sugar in a shallow dish. While still warm, remove the cookies from the baking sheet and dip the top side into the crushed peppermint coating. Place the cookies on a cooling rack until completely cool. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of weeks, if they last that long!
Photography by Aaron Scott