Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Vegan Valentine

Valentines's Day is nothing but an excuse for making and eating vegan goodies. My little ones are like any other toddlers, and will happily enjoy a special Valentine's Day treat. This year I made valentine cookies. I tried using strawberry powdered to color the icing for cookies and it worked really well. It was nice to find an natural way to color them to be festive.

I also planned to make strawberry cupakes, but decided to wait for another time. Between vegan chocolates and the cookies we were pretty set for treats. The recipe for the cookies is pretty special, because it comes from my Grandma - the one I am named after. The original wasn't vegan, but it was simple to convert.

Grandmama's Sugar Cookies
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups margarine (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 tsp baking powder
3 "eggs" using Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 tsp. vanilla

Powered Sugar
Soy Milk (or other milk alternative)
Strawberry Powder
Almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the sugar and margarine (I recommend using a non-hydrogenated one). Mix together the Ener-G egg replacer with a wisk until creamy. Add it to the mixture, along with vanilla, baking soda, and mix well. Combine with the flour to make dough. Seperate into 3 sections, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or if you are in a rush about an hour in the freezer. Roll out dough to 1/4 " thick and cut out shapes. Bake in oven 9-12 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Transfer from pan t0 cooling rack until completely cooled.

In the meantime, mix together the frosting. I typically don't measure this out, but a good start would be about 2-3 cups powdered sugar to 1-2 Tbsp. of soy milk. You can add 1-2 tsp. of whatever extract strikes your fancy (lemon, vanilla, almond, etc.). Wisk together almond extract, powdered sugar and soy milk, alternately adding soy milk and powdered sugar. Once desired consistency is reached you are ready to decorate your cookies. If you would like to color it pink like I did, slowly add in 1/2 - 1 Tbsp of strawberry powder.

I recommend using a pastry brush to "paint" the icing onto the cookies. You can also add sprinkles onto the cookies after icing, but need to do it immediately after icing a cookie before it starts to dry.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vegan Edible Play Dough

Quite awhile ago, I heard about a recipe for making edible peanut butter play dough. My daughter was too young for it, so I shelved the idea for when they both could participate.

I needed to gather up the ingredients and see how it went to veganize the recipe. It turned out quite well, and a little too tasty. I may have been guilty of taking a sample or two, or three.

It is simple to make. You use equal parts soy milk powder, peanut butter, and honey substitute. I used Just Like Honey and Better Than Milk Soy Powder. Since I used natural peanut butter, I added a little extra soy milk powder, but I would only do that if you use the kind where the oil seperates and requires stirring.