Sugar Cookies

Hubby said he missed his mom’s sugar cookies at the holidays, so I decided to try my hand at them. They were a hit! We both gorged and had to drink lots of water to soften our sour stomachs from too much sugar.

Hubby likes his cookies soft and chewy and the recipe below does that. If you like yours more crunchy, bake the cookies longer. Also, I no longer have any cookie cutters for fun shapes and instead created a log to cut off pieces. Similar to the tubes of cookie dough from some grocery stores. If using cookie cutters, roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper after letting thicken in the fridge. What you will need for the cookies:

1/2 cup Whole Wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/2 c. sugar 

1/4 t. baking soda 

1/2 c. vegan buttery margarine, I use the sticks from Earth Balance

2 TBS  water 

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

For icing (makes enough for two batches of cookies):

1 cup powered sugar

1/8 tsp vanilla extract

1 oz almond milk (or other milk alternative) + more as needed 

1 container decorating sugar or sprinkles

Sift dry cookie ingredients into a large bowl and stir. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or two knives until the dry ingredients look wet. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla and almond extract. Stir and add the water. Stir more. Will be sticky. Move batter to a piece of parchment paper to make the log. You get to decide how wide you want your cookies. They will expand while baking. Mine was about two inches thick.  

Place parchment paper rolled up batter log in the fridge for about two hours. This will give the margerine enough time to thicken again. If not doing a log, cover the mixing bowl that holds your dough and place that in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. I needed two baking sheets, but it all depends on the size of your sheet and the size of your cookies.

Unwrap dough log and slice off the width of desired cookie. Place cookies on sheets and bake about 10 minutes. This amount of time allowed my cookies to stay soft and chewy. Remove parchement paper with cookies on it from baking sheets to cool a couple minutes.

Sift powdered sugar into a bowl, add vanilla extract and the first ounce of almond milk. Here you can decide the thickness of the icing. Using a spatula, stir everything and add more almond milk as needed. I used my icing as glue for the sugar and thus made it very thin. I wanted to make sure my soft cookies didn’t break. Pour decorating sugar or sprinkles onto a plate. After icing each cookie, turn it over and place icing side on the sugar. The icing will act as glue for the sugar. Turn back over and ta-da! Yummers!


Rice & Beans Stew

Get it? I took the rice and beans that I love to make and turned it into a stew. I had to give up my large crock pot when I moved to NYC. Luckily, I was just given a new one that is NYC apartment sized, four quarts. This means that the recipe will fit standard sized crock pots. What you will need:

10 oz frozen diced butternut squash

1 onion diced

1 can navy beans, drained

28 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup brown rice

1 cup coarsely chopped, stems removed, kale

1 not-chick’n bouillon cube

4 cups water

Vegan sour cream (optional)

Avocado (optional)

Place everything but the sour cream and avocado in a crock pot. Cook on low for eight hours. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado slices and a scoop of sour cream. Yummers!