I have a strange job.
Admittedly, there are stranger. But working on a monthly magazine throws your whole schedule out of sync: you’re testing Easter eggs in December, planning Christmas in July, and (as I am now) writing about summer while it’s snowing just outside the window.
The trouble with working so far ahead of schedule is that you sometimes forget that these events haven’t actually happened yet. I feel both excited for planned summer vacations, and a bit like I’ve already experienced them – so please excuse the beach ball motif.
But if you’re (literally) knee-deep in the white stuff like many of my American brethren, you might want to bake up a batch of these biscuits and dream of a warmer time.
Vegan Sugar Cookie Cut Outs*
YOU’RE GONNA NEED: a cookie sheet, 1 hour chilling time, piping bags (if desired)
1/2 cup vegan or soy spread
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsps water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Prepare your cookies: in an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the spread and sugar until fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Beat in flour until a dough forms. Wrap in film and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Sprinkle with a light sprinkling of sea salt. Bake 10-15 minutes until just golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes on trays before removing and allowing to cool completely on wire racks.
3. Prepare your icing: Stir together all ingredients until smooth. For beach ball pattern, make a batch of thicker ‘border’ icing by decreasing the amount of water in the mixture. Pipe the border lines first and allow to dry for roughly an hour. Make a batch of thinner ‘flood’ icing by increasing the water in the mixture, then ‘flooding’ the segments with icing. Allow to dry overnight.
Don’t want to make cut outs? If you’d prefer to make drop sugar cookies, add 1 tsp baking powder to the flour before mixing in. Baking powder helps the cookies to spread, so not ideal for cut outs (but perfect for drop cookies).