Sugar Cookies (dairy free)
I'm taking a cake decorating class. It's four weeks long and the last session required me to bring small "treats" to decorate. So, I made both Brownies and sugar cookies.
Sugar cookies are a tricky business. They can either be really dry and hard to eat without copious amounts of milk, or they can be so sweet that you can't get past the second bite, or, they are so thin that decorating them is a major challenge.
If I plan to ice and decorate a cookie, I'll make the cookie batter less sweet, so that the sugar in both the cookie and the icing is balanced and doesn't leave me with a cloying dessert.
Now, when I make cookies that I plan to decorate, I try to roll them thicker than the average, undecorated cookie so they can withstand the baking, cooling and decorating process without breaking.
Have you ever bought a cookie cutter that just looked so cool, until you tried to use it - and there is always one small corner that breaks off? This is exactly what I wanted to avoid.
I chose a recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction because it was designed for decorated cookies. I modified her recipe to make it dairy free by replacing the butter with earth balance buttery sticks. I also rolled my cookies to about 1/3-inch thick, which is much thicker than her delicate cookies. I did that because I needed at least a 3" flat surface to decorate for my class. We were planning to use buttercream icing (not common for cookies) instead of royal icing (most common on cookies), and so I wanted to make sure the cookie could hold up to the decorations.
Cranberry Macadamia Cookies
I was looking in my pantry at a package of macadamia nuts that I brought back from Hawaii this winter and thinking about cookies. I made a Cranberry Macadamia Cookie a few years ago that I really loved, but I couldn't remember where I wrote down the recipe. So I decided to try Epicurious' version instead.
I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Baking Sticks and omitted the white chocolate chips (it's almost impossible to find dairy free white chocolate).
The cookie dough itself has a nice balance of chewy:crispy. They spread a little more than I'd have liked in the pan, but overall - it's a good cookie.
I'm a home cook with a lifelong passion for learning, exploring and experimenting in my kitchen. You can find me at @Debs1 on Twitter and @Debs121212 on Instagram.
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