Even though the whole point of the Great Food Blogger Cookie swap was to, you know, SWAP COOKIES and support Cookies for Kids at the same time, I still got a super thrill of excitement every time I got a package of a dozen lovely cookies in the mail. REALLY?? You whipped up these cookies, packaged them in cute boxes and ribbons and mailed them all the way to me?
You would really do that? For me?
I haven’t gotten a package since ordering my last college textbook, so it’s been a thrilling couple of weeks.
- Ranger cookies from Melissa @ Sterling & Oats (top right)
- Chocolate pomegranate cookies from Brooke @ Baking with Basil (left)
- Toffee something cookies from ??? (bottom right)
Unfortunate about the mystery sender of the last cookies, but kudos to them–I got their cookies before I even shipped mine! And can we please take a moment to admire the shiny red box that held Melissa’s amazing crunchy-addictive ranger cookies?
But the chocolate pomegranate cookies. Too good to be allowed. They were still freshly soft when they arrived, the kind of chocolate-y that gets between your teeth and wants to stay there and you’re kind of like, ‘well if that means I can taste you all day, then SO BE IT!’
I will be taking cookie-shipping pointers from Brooke in the future–she packaged two cookies at a time in little plastic bags sealed with gold twist ties and they tasted nearly freshly baked. All around A+ shipping method and choice of cookies to ship.
I sent cookies to:
And so let it be known that there’s has also been lots of silent stalking around these parts because I couldn’t remember when we were supposed to reveal the identity of the givers/receivers and I was, how shall we put it…to lazy to look it up. But I love that this cookie swap introduces you to blogs you may not otherwise know.
Like hello, Laura (she has the most awesome last name, btw) is practically living my dream life: living in NYC, working in music by day and cooking and baking by night. Something about her stuffed French toast tells me that brunching with this girl would be a smashing good time.
So yep, these little buttery sugar balls are vegan.
Growing up we called them sandies, but feel free to insert: Mexican wedding cakes, Russian tea cakes, pecan roll cookies, pecan melts, Hungarian pecan cookies, Louisiana pecan balls, snowball cookies, etc.
These are basically a shortbread cookie in ball form, except even lighter and finer. The tight-crumbed, crumbly, sugary, buttery texture. I die. I keep wanting to describe these as “short-y” (as in shortbread-like), but I keep refraining since that’s such a non-word it’s not even funny. But can we pretend these are called shorties, just for like five minutes?
I used vegan butter sticks and coconut oil to achieve that magical shortie texture, and less of it than the traditional amount of butter in these. Still not health food, but definitely a cookie I would be happy to set out for a holiday spread. And even happier to watch my family eat without any suspicions of veganized baking.
Ladies who received these: I hope you enjoyed! I know I had way too good of a time with my cookie packages.
Why am I adapting another of Deb’s impeccable recipes? Because I knew it would be the best base for a truly delicious sandie. I like to think I was right.
Changes: Most sandies recipes call for a cup of butter to about 2 cups of flour. I used 3/4 cup of fat: 1/4 cup of a vegan buttery stick, and 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
I was afraid that the coconut oil would be too overpowering if I used all coconut oil, but it left only a faint hint of coconut. I thought they were still totally buttery and “short” enough, so next time, I might try decreasing the fat by two tablespoons and using all coconut oil.
If you do go the coconut oil route, make sure to set out the coconut oil a few hours before so that it’s room temperature and scoop-able by the time you use it. Coconut oil has a greasy, almost lotion-like consistency that creams up nicely, almost like butter.
Tips: I used my homemade almond meal for the nuts in these cookies. If you have some unsalted almonds you’re looking to use up, trying pouring a generous cup of whole almonds into a pot of boiling water for exactly one minute. Then drain, rinse with cold water, rinse again, and you should be able to pop the almonds out of their wrinkly, wet skins easily. Then pat or air dry, and grind in a food processor.
After letting the cookies cool for five minutes, then rolling in sugar, as Deb suggests, I found that cookies were drinking up the sugar and deemed it prudent to roll them again. In my directions, I suggest waiting 10 minutes before rolling to prevent the sugar from caking and falling off (hence the naked spots in the above photos).
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: ~30 cookies
1/4 cup vegan buttery sticks, room temperature
½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup almond meal (you can also use pecans, hazelnuts or other nuts, toasted and finely ground
1/2 cup powdered sugar, for rolling
Using electric mixer, beat buttery sticks and coconut oil in large bowl until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until well blended. Beat in flour, then almond meal. Divide dough in half; form each half into ball. Wrap separately in plastic; chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.Working with half of chilled dough (leaving the other half to chill), roll scant tablespoons of dough into balls. Arrange balls on a baking sheet, spaced 1/2 inch apart.
Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies 10 minutes on baking sheet.
Gently toss slightly warm cookies in remaining powdered sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough.
Cookies can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature; reserve remaining sugar.
Sift remaining sugar over cookies and serve.