Over the past couple of weeks Eden has gotten very interested in “helping mama in the kitchen”.
The minute she sees me prepping food at the kitchen counter she drops whatever she’s doing, runs to the dining room where she will loudly and clumsily maneuver a chair out from under the table which she will then drags across the room into the kitchen, climb upon and say, “What are we making, Mama?”
This all started a few weeks back.
I was attempting to make an apple galette in the afternoon for our dinner guests later that evening and finding it very challenging as my two littles ran between my feet, climbed my legs, sprawled themselves on the kitchen floor…basically any they could possibly do to make it impossible for me to manage any baking. My first instinct was to get frustrated. Then it hit me: rather than work despite my overly-involved children, I’d work with with them. So I plopped Nash in the highchair and started teaching Eden how to “bake” (by which I mostly mean play with empty rolls of plastic wrap and pour salt into measuring cups).
As I bake (and cook) I talk through the things I am doing.
“Now we’re adding the cinnamon and nutmeg.”
“This is called creaming the butter and sugar”
“Now we will add the dries into the wets in three batches”
And she softly echo it all as though she is memorizing everything I am teaching her.
Between baking, photography, and writing, this girl’s got food blogging all figured out.
I think Nash has been enjoying it too.
These cookies were especially fun to make with Eden who looked as though she were about to explode with excitement as I showed her how to “draw” on each cookie with chocolate and turn round candies into spiders.
For this classic sugar cookie recipe I used chickpea flour as the binder (egg replacer) because it has a neutral taste and texture (just don’t eat it raw!). I also used Earth Balance buttery sticks and I recommend using these or a similar high-quality non-dairy butter as it is one of two prominent flavors of these cookies (the other being sugar). As a result, these cookies were just how I remembered sugar cookies to be: sweet, buttery, and simply heavenly to bite into.
- 2 sticks (1 cup) non-dairy butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup Ener-G Egg Replacer*
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, I used almond
- melted chocolate
- vegan candies
In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, beat the vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Meanwhile in a coffee grinder or small blender blend together the chickpea flour and water until smooth and thick. With the motor running, slowly add this to the mixer along with vanilla and salt. Once incorporated, add the flour, scrap down the sides, and beat until combined. Do not overmix.
Transfer dough onto a clean surface. Pat into a flattened rectangle, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove chilled dough and roll out to 1/4". Using a round cutter cut out as many circles as possible, carefully transferring them onto the prepared baking sheets. Combine the scraps, roll out again and continue. You may need to re-chill the dough in between each roll-out.
Chill the cookies for 20 more minutes until firm. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire baking rack to finish cooling completely.
To make the royal icing, beat together powered sugar and Ener-G Egg replacer. With motor running add the non-dairy milk and combine. Turn speed up to high and beat for 5-7 minutes until it is glossy and has formed soft peak.
Transfer icing into a shallow dish and dip the tops of each cooled cookie. Let the icing harden before decorating with candy and chocolate.
You can omit the Ener-G egg replacer. Reduce the amount of milk to 1/4 cup and it will still work, however it won't set up quite as well.
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