Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I have another sugar cookie recipe on my blog that uses far less fat in it with a cakey texture if that is what you are looking to make. However, if you want a bakery-style, old-fashioned sugar cookie with full flavor and great texture, you simply must try these. I decided to pull out my mom’s recipe and back-track to keep the old richness with the new veganism.

Since we’re all busy this time of the year, I’m going to keep this short and just get you the recipe. Have a wonderful, merry Christmas, Hanukkah, and anything else you celebrate. If you want a frosting recipe, click here.

My new experiment with a cookie stamp.

Sugar Cookies

  • 1 c. Earth Balance buttery sticks, softened
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil, softened
  • 2 T. soy sour cream (or more coconut oil)
  • 2 c. evaporated cane juice crystals (or sugar) plus more for top of cookies
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 4 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer powder
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy milk
  • 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 c. King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour, or w.w. pastry flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Thoroughly cream margarine, evaporated cane juice, and vanilla.  Add egg replacer powder, stirring thoroughly.  Gradually beat in the milk by hand, or use a mixer and do it all at once.  Continue beating until fluffy and no separation remains.  Stir in salt and baking powder well, then flour immediately afterwards.  Stir until no dry spots remain.  If necessary, add another T. or so of milk.

Roll dough into balls, place on cookie sheets, and flatten with a glass dipped into more of the evaporated cane juice crystals, or a cookie stamp.  (After you have rolled the cookie dough into balls, you may need to rub your hand on the bottom of the glass the first time so that the sugar will stick to it.)  Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Cool slightly and remove to cooling rack.

If you wish to roll cookies out for cut-outs, chill the dough for an hour or more.  Use a metal spatula or dough scraper to gently lift the cookies from the countertop so they keep their shapes.  If you do this, you will not need to flour the countertop at all, which makes a tastier cookie.

Frosting for Sugar Cookies

What would sugar cookies be without frosting?  Well…they’d be…um…just boring little cookies.  If you used colored sugar on them they might be a little better.  But why when you could frost them instead?  😀

You can use this recipe and just make simple white or one-color frosting to slather aimlessly on round cookies, or you can get fancy and make cut-out cookies and split your white frosting into little bowls and add food coloring to them (once a year…that’s all I use the unhealthy stuff…a few little drops.)  Then you’ve got the makings for a decorating party!  Invite your friends over or gather the kids and get busy.

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This recipe (pre-vegan) came from a tear-out insert in a woman’s magazine from 1990.  (Yep, I’m getting old when my clippings and savings come from over 20 years ago.  Maybe they shouldn’t date those things so that I could blissfully think it was only a little bit ago…)  It was put out by Crisco (shudder….)  It called for butter-flavored Crisco (another prerequisite shudder.)  Obviously, I do not use that any more.  Instead, I have made this into a vegan-friendly recipe.

This recipe more than covers 1 batch of my Sugar Cookies.  Although you might want a double or 1 1/2 batch of this frosting if you want lots of different colors to play with or if you have a heavy hand with spreading plenty on your cookies.  I put it in 1/2-3/4 c. pyrex bowls, color it as desired, and stick in small plastic knives (they don’t fall out of the tiny bowls as easily.)  I put out lots of sprinkles and such to use for decorating.  Toothpicks help align things in tiny areas.  This year I added little squeeze bottles made for decorating cupcakes and cookies so we could add finer details, but decorator bags would work, too.

Frosting for Sugar Cookies

  • 1 Earth Balance buttery stick (1/2 c.), softened (I never have patience to wait ~ and nuke it for 10-15 seconds)
  • 4 c. powdered sugar (use evaporated cane juice crystals powdered version to be completely vegan)
  • 1/3 c. non-dairy vanilla or plain milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a deep 1 quart bowl (or larger) and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until no powdery sugar remains that can blow up into your face when you turn the mixer on high.  Scrape bowl.  Beat at high speed until smooth and creamy.

Divide into smaller bowls, mix in a few drops of food coloring, and decorate away!

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This shows some of the aftermath of the decorating this year with an empty bowl of green frosting next to sprinkles and cookies.  These an out-of-town friend of my son’s decorated.  It was so much fun!

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies 001 Since we’re all short on time at this time of year, I’m going to keep any comments brief.

It is a tradition with my kids to decorate sugar cookies for the holidays as a family – well, minus hubby, who just isn’t interested.  Sometimes the kids are really good about prettily and carefully crafting their cookies.  Other years, not so much…and we end up with houses turned in a funny way and becoming elephants, snowmen upended and being crafted into ice cream cones.  No…I do not know why, nor do I understand.  But since three out of four of them are adults, who am I to argue?  lol  However, it is my creations you see pictured here.  😀

Sugar Cookies

  • 1/2 c. Earth Balance buttery sticks
  • Sugar Cookies 0121/4 c. extra light olive oil
  • 2 T. soy sour cream
  • 2 c. evaporated cane juice crystals, or sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (or more)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer powder
  • 1/2 c. + 2 T. non-dairy milk (may need a smidgen more)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 c. white whole wheat flour (King Arthur’s or Trader Joe’s brand)

Preheat oven to 375°.  Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Thoroughly cream “butter,” olive oil, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Add in egg replacer powder.  Stir milk in little at a time, beating until well mixed.  Stir in salt and baking powder.  Then add the flour, mixing carefully until no dry spots remain.  If dough seems crumbly, add a little bit of milk – but be very careful here – it doesn’t take much to make a soggy mess suddenly!  It is the right consistency when a small ball of dough can be lightly kneaded and come together.

Roll dough into balls and flatten with a glass dipped into evaporated cane juice crystals/sugar.  (You may need to rub your cookie-dough-smeared palm on the bottom of the glass before the first cookie so that the sugar will stick to it.)  OR  to make cut-out cookies take a good-sized lump of dough, knead it until it is more cohesive, and roll it out on the kitchen counter.  You shouldn’t need any flour if you are careful and use something like a dough scraper or a thin pancake turner to gently scrape up the cut-out dough from the counter.  This makes for a much nicer flavored cookie!  If all else fails, use a little flour on the counter.

Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Remove to cooling rack.  Decorate as desired.  (Or leave the sugared round ones plain.)

Yields approximately 6 dozen (depending on the size of your cookie cutters)

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