The first negative thing that came to mind when I transitioned into veganism was “oh my god what the eff am I going to do during the holidays?!”
My family is one of tradition and parties with lots and lots of indulgent food, so I knew the holidays were going to be a challenge. But, so far I’ve been able to either find time to make my own food to bring to celebrations, or just eaten before/after if I was too busy to prepare beforehand.
When it comes to Christmas cookies, there is no compromising. I had to have my two favorite traditional Taylor’s family cookies: Butterhorns and Tiny Fudge Tarts.
One day every year before Christmas, my mom and I both take a day off and spend the entire 24 hours baking Christmas cookies (we’re obviously both annoying overachievers/Christmas addicts, please don’t judge too harshly). Last Friday was this year’s Cookie day, and I came home prepared! There was NO WAY I wasn’t going to attempt to enjoy my favorite cookies that I only get once a year!
So, I had my mom send me the recipes, and I veganized the shit outta them! Here is the vegan version of my Grandma’s Butterhorn Recipe!
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1 cup earth balance or any vegan butter
- 3/4 cup vegan sour cream (recipe from my Oh She Glows cookbook below)
- 1 flax egg “yolk”
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and/or pecans
FOR THE SOUR CREAM: Put 3/4 cup of raw cashews in a bowl of water and soak overnight or for at least 3 hours. Once they’re soaked, drain them, and place in a blender with 1/2-3/4 cup water, depending on how thick you want it. Blend on high with 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, and salt to taste until everything is creamy.
FOR THE COOKIES: In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tbsp. ground flax seed with 1 1/2 tbsp. water. let sit for 5 minutes until gelled to make a flax egg “yolk.” In a large bowl, mix the flour, softened vegan butter, vegan sour cream, and flax egg yolk with a hand mixer or with a kitchen aide if you’re fancy. Once the dough is incorporated and no bumps remain, shape into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Take out of the fridge and separate into 3 smaller balls. In a small bowl, mix together finely chopped nuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Roll out one of the dough balls into a circle, and spread cinnamon sugar mixture around so it coats the dough evenly. Slice the dough with a sharp knife to create little pizza shaped slices. Roll into a crescent shape starting from the top of each little slice and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with the other two balls of dough and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.
These cookies represent so much to me…Christmas (of course), my childhood, the warmth of tradition, happy memories spent in the kitchen with my mama singing Baby it’s Cold Outside. Just happiness in general.
Plus, they’re damn good and are basically little morsels of cinnamon sugary heaven! And I swear, this veganized version tastes even better than the original!
Tis the season of cruelty free baking, I always say…