Happy Holiday Folks! I hope the warmer weather is treating you well (welcome summer!) or for all my northern hemisphere readers, then the cold sees hot drinks, fire places roaring and comforting Christmas food all around you.
Now I’m going to add another Must Make This Holiday Season to your list. I know this list must be getting long now, mine sure is. This week sees the good old and favourited by many, sugar cookies that have been lightly spiced to make these Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing. Yes, I even made some vegan royal icing to decorate the cookies because the best part about sugar cookies is icing them.
For these Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Cookies, you’ll start by creaming the vegan butter until it’s lighter in colour. This is an important step as it begins to incorporate air into the mixture. Then the sugar is added but today I used Baking Natvia, a sugar free sweetener that has next to no calories and can be used one to one as sugar…score! This is creamed in with the vegan butter. By creaming the sugar into the butter you’re not only evenly dispersing the sugar into the batter but you’re also incorporating a lot more air into the mixture, making the cookie lighter in texture.
I used a little orange zest in my cookies because I felt they needed a little zing to it. The zest is optional but if you want a cookie that takes it next level, then add that beauty in. Zest of any citrus is a powerful way to add flavour but remember, a little goes a long way.
Onto the royal icing, I say! Ok, first off, we need to take a moment to realise how amazing aquafaba (aka chickpea water) is. Who would have thought it would be such an amazing egg replacer. For those who haven’t dared touch the stuff, then now’s the time to have a play. Take a can of chickpeas from your cupboard, empty the liquid contents from it into a bowl, add a little cream of tartar (helps to stabilise) and begin to whip it.
To make royal icing, you want to stop when soft peaks begin to form, which can range anywhere from 3 minutes to 8 minutes, depending on what machine you’re using. A held held beater will take a little longer than a stand mixer. Add the icing sugar and salt and continue to beat until the mixture looks glossy and stiff peaks form. Then add your flavouring. You could be adventurous with the flavouring and add orange extract, ground cinnamon or even maple extract (YUM) or stick with vanilla because it always works.
Royal Icing Tips:
- If you want a thinner icing, add a little water into it.
- Don’t leave it in contact with the air for too long as it does begin to harden. Cover with cling wrap if you don’t want to use it straight away.
- Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
- - 1 cup (150g) all-purpose plain flour
- - 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- - ½ teaspoon baking powder
- - ⅛ teaspoon salt
- - ⅓ cup (70g) vegan butter
- - ½ cup (100g) Natvia
- - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- - ¼ teaspoon orange zest (optional)
- - 1 tablespoon (15mL) soy milk
- Royal Icing
- - 5 tablespoons (70mL) aquafaba (water from a chickpea can)
- - ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- - 2¼ cups icing sugar
- - pinch salt
- - ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Begin making the cookies. Sift the plain flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Leave to the side.
- In a stand mixer, cream the vegan butter for 1 minute, until pale and creamy. Add the Natvia and beat for another minute. Add the vanilla extract and optional orange zest and beat to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and pour in the milk. Turn the stand mixture onto a low speed and beat until it’s just combined.
- Form into a ball, wrap with cling wrap and press down to form a thick disc. Place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
- Dust your working surface with flour and roll the dough out to an even 1cm / ¼ inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cooking cutters and place on the greased baking tray 2 cm apart.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove tray from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Decorate with royal icing.
- To make the Royal Icing pour the aquafaba and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on. Whip on high speed for 3-5 minutes, until soft peaks form. Sift in the icing sugar and salt and continue to whip for another 4-6 minutes, until stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla extract and whip to combine.
- Pour into a piping bag and decorate cookies.
Prep time also includes chilling time.