Vegan holiday cookie recipes

Candy Cane Fudge Cookies

Excerpted from the book THE SUPERFUN TIMES VEGAN HOLIDAY COOKBOOK by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Copyright © 2016 by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.

Makes 36 Cookies
Total: 45 Minutes
Active: 25 Minutes

½ cup refined coconut oil, at room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce ,at room temperature
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk), at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if clumpy
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons alt
2 (3-ounce) peppermint chocolate bars, chopped up
4 crushed-up candy canes (see Tip)

Chocolate and minty chocolate with crushed candy canes. These cookies scream “CHRISTMAS” so loud that you might have to tell them to shut up! These are the cookies you bring to the office (or collective artspace) to share with everyone. They are going to be the best thing that happens to anyone this holiday season, even if they get that Cabbage Patch Kid they’ve been so desperately wanting.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two rimmed baking sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together the oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and milk and mix gently; it might make the oil clump and firm up a bit, but that’s okay. Mix in the vanilla.

Add  1 cup  of the flour, along with the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well. Mix in the peppermint chocolate chunks and then add the remaining

1 cup flour and mix until it firms up. You might need to use your hands to get it fully incorporated.

Place twelve 1½-tablespoon scoops of dough on each baking sheet, a few inches apart. Flatten slightly with your hand. Place a pinch of crushed candy cane in the center of each and press gently into the surface.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Tips:

You don’t have to find peppermint chocolate for these, but it’s pretty darn good. Chocolate chips or dark chocolate bars will work, too.

To crush candy canes, place them in a plastic zip-top bag and pound on them with something heavy (a hammer maybe?) until they are in pieces that are no bigger than ½ inch.


Almost-Raw Almond Snowballs

By Dynise Balcavage 

Very easy to put together and festive-looking. 

About 1 cup soaked almond meal
2 T of Raw Cacao Powder or cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 T coconut oil
3 T Organic Raw Agave Nectar or or maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
2 T brown rice flour
About 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Makes 18-24 snowballs

Using your hands, mix everything except coconut flakes in a large bowl. Spread coconut flakes on a dish.

Roll mixture into balls – about 3/4-1 inch in diameter. Mixture should be somewhat firm – so you may need to add extra brown rice flour. Roll in coconut and place on a cookie sheet. If you want to get fancy, place them in mini muffin liners. Refrigerate for a few hours until firm.


Italian Biscotti

by Christina Pirello

Italian biscotti with no eggs? These crisp, delicately sweet cookies are usually packed with eggs and sugar. In my vegan version, they are just as tasty, just as crisp with no eggs, no downside...just yumminess.

Makes 24-32 Cookies

Ingredient List:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in 2 tablespoons water for 15-30 minutes
8 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
½ cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup slivered almonds

Glaze
1/4 cup soy or almond milk
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
Step By Step Instructions:
Preheat to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Combine dry ingredients and whisk to mix well. In a separate mixing bowl, mix soaked chia, vegan butter substitute, rice syrup,coconut sugar and vanilla and whip vigorously until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients to create soft dough. Fold in almonds. With moist hands, divide dough in half and shape each half into a cylinder that is 2-inch wide.

Place cylinders side by side on baking sheet and bake 25-30 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2 inch wide slices. Return slices on the baking sheet, cut side up, bake for 5 minutes, flip and bake (again cut side up) 5 minutes more.Allow to cool completely.

If glazing, combine the 'milk' and rice syrup in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Pour over the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Dip the ends of the biscotti into the glaze to cover half of the cookie. Set cookies on a wire rack to set.

Cook's Tip: I use a hand mixer or stand up mixer to create the whipped creamy texture I want from the chia and other wet ingredients. This process creates the crisp texture we associate with these classic cookies.


All the Rugelach

Excerpted from the book THE SUPERFUN TIMES VEGAN HOLIDAY COOKBOOK by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Copyright © 2016 by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.

Total: 3 hours
Active: 1 hour
Makes 4 dozen

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup refined coconut oil, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 cup plain unsweetened coconut or soy yogurt

For the basic Filling:
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

For the variations:
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
¼ cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup chopped raisins

Probably the most iconic of the Jewish cookies, the rugelach is the pastry that most has us pressing our faces up against the glass at the local bakery. It’s rich and buttery and sweet and cinnamony and will have you drifting off in conversation with a distant cousin thrice removed whose name you can’t remember in order to go grab another one. Pick your poison or make all four: classic cinnamon-walnut, raspberry, chocolate, or raisin.

Prepare the dough: In a very large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add the coconut oil in small clumps. Use a pastry cutter to cut theoil into the flour until pea-size crumbs have formed. Add the applesauce and yogurt and mix to form a stiff dough.

Divide the dough into four equal parts, then form them into four disks. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the Filling and variations: In a food processor, pulse together the sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts until it is in tiny crumbs.

From here you can make as many variations as you want, but these directions will be for one batch each of classic rugelach, raspberry rugelach, chocolate rugelach, and raisin rugelach. Roll the disks one at a time for best results, leaving the others in the refrigerator until their turn.

On a clean, flat surface with plenty of space, roll a disk into a 9-inch circle.

For Classic Rugelach: Sprinkle some cinnamon mixture all over the disk, leaving about ½ inch space at the edges.

For Raspberry Rugelach: Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the disk, leaving about ½ inch space at the edges, then sprinkle on some cinnamon mixture.

For Chocolate Rugelach: Scatter the chopped chocolate over the disk, leaving about ½ inch space at the edges, then sprinkle on some cinnamon mixture.
For Raisin Rugelach: Sprinkle some cinnamon mixture all over the disk, leaving about ½ inch space at the edges, then scatter on the chopped raisins.

Now comes the fun/tedious part. Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Use a pizza cutter to cut each round into 12 wedges, like a pizza pie. Roll each triangle from the base up to the point to form the rugelach. Place the rolled rugelach on the prepared baking sheet and put it in the refrigerator while you continue to prepare each disk.

When all the cookies are formed, let them chill for another 15 minutes in the fridge. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake until lightly browned and a little puffy, 18 to 22 minutes. The sugar should appear caramelized and melty. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.