I had to be “snack mom” about once a month when my girls were in preschool. I’d always fuss over what I would bring. It had to be healthy and I felt better if I brought something homemade.
By the time Elia was in her 2nd year of preschool, I was a little burnt out. Four years of snack mom was a bit much (“you get carrot sticks and yogurt tubes, ok?!”)
But, now that the girls are in elementary, I rarely get this opportunity and I miss it sometimes. When Elia’s teacher sent out a message that they were having a Valentine’s Day party, I decided this would be a perfect time to make my delicious sugar cookies. I had made them last year for her kindergarten Easter party. They were so good (or so I was told) and the kids loved them, even though my royal icing skills leave a lot to be desired.
Elia’s class has a website you can sign up on to bring snacks, but by the time I got around to clicking on it, all the spots were taken. I figured I would just make some anyway and use this opportunity to try a dairy-free version that I could enjoy! And maybe experiment with using different kinds of sugar and flour.
The Holy Grail of Vegan Butter
I found this amazing vegan butter at Safeway, which surprised me because their vegan/dairy free selection sucks. I love how they come out in sticks and have measurements on them.
I decided to try 4 different kinds. This is my go-to recipe that I’ve used for the last couple of years. If you want easy-to-make regular sugar cookies, try her recipe! They always turn out great for me and you don’t have to refrigerate the dough.
Four Types of Cookies
I divided the recipe into quarters so I could try each kind and not make a bajilion cookies.
The first one I tried was coconut sugar. The dough felt a bit weird. I always find that coconut sugar doesn’t dissolve very well, but still tastes great. I simply substituted coconut sugar for regular sugar and vegan butter for regular butter. They turned out pretty good, although not as sweet as I’d hoped, and they didn’t really taste like a regular sugar cookie.
The next one I tried was the regular recipe with white sugar and white flour using the vegan butter. This one turned out awesome! It tasted exactly the original recipe.
I tried a healthy, vegan version next. I used whole wheat flour, coconut sugar, vegan butter and a flax egg. You make a flax egg by using 1 tbsp of ground flax and 3 tbsp of water. Put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and you have a gooey little egg substitute. These turned out very interesting! They don’t taste anything like sugar cookies but are delicious anyway. I thought they tasted exactly like digestive cookies.
Lastly I made a vegan version of the classic sugar cookies and they might be my favourite! They’re still white, like the original, but they do have little flecks of flax in them. They tasted the same as the original recipe except with a slight nutty flavour from the flax egg. Soooo good!
Not a Professional Cookie Decorator
I decorated the cookies with a traditional royal icing. If you’re looking to vegan-ize it, you can use the water from a can if chickpeas (instructions here) Apparently this stuff works exactly like egg whites! I would’ve tried it myself but I was out of chickpeas.
As I said earlier, I suck at royal icing. I think I’m just too impatient. There are so many blogs out there with cookies that are beautifully decorated. This is not that blog, haha. My kids thought they were fantastic, and that’s all that matters.
After I went dairy free I figured my days of eating sugar cookies were over. But this version is just as good! I can’t wait to make them for Christmas. Cookie decorating is a favourite tradition that we haven’t done for a couple of years.
These dairy-free & vegan sugar cookies are a delicious alternative to traditional sugar cookies. And if you can get past the colour, you can even make healthier versions of them!
Dairy-Free & Vegan Sugar Cookies
- 1 Cup Vegan Butter (I like this brand)
- 1 Cup granulated white sugar (Or substitute coconut sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg (or use a flax egg for a vegan version)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour (use whole wheat for a heartier, healthier version)
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cream vegan butter and sugar until smooth
- Add vanilla extract
- Add egg (or flax egg) and beat until smooth
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture
- Scoop mixture into a dough ball (no need to chill) and roll out on a floured surface.
- Roll out dough until it’s about 1/4″ thick and cut out shapes,
- Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 6-8 minutes.