Cookies and Pasta
Since today is Christmas, I thought it only fitting to make some sugar cookies. I veganized a recipe from my mom's old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and ended up with the following very unhealthy, but delicious, recipe:
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
2 T water
1 tsp orange juice (you can really use whatever kind of liquid you want in place of water and OJ, the original recipe had milk and eggs, but I didn't have any soymilk or applesauce for substitutes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
sprinkles, small candies, or icing for topping (optional)
Cream the shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add the water and orange juice and beat until combined. There may still be a little liquid that doesn't get absorbed, but this is fine. In a separate bowl, sift together the rest of the ingredients. Blend into the creamed mixture. Divide dough in half and refrigerate for at least an hour. The longer you chill the dough the easier it will be to work with.
On a lightly floured surface roll half the dough to about 1/4" thickness. Leave the other half of the dough in the refrigerator to stay cool. Cut rolled dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. If you are using sprinkles or other toppings put them on top of the cookies now. Bake at 375°F for 7-10 minutes. Remove cookies from trays to cool. Repeat with the other half of the dough. If you are icing the cookies make sure they are completely cool before icing them.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
I'm always taking shortcuts with recipes so my cookies only chilled for about twenty minutes. The dough ended up a little sticky but it was still manageable. I couldn't find any fun cookie cutters so I cut the cookies out with the top of a glass. I didn't feel like rolling out the second half of the dough because it was really sticky so I just shaped the cookies in my hands and they came out fine. The longer these bake the crunchier they will be. I like soft cookies so I only left them in for 7 minutes.
the beauty of a plain sugar cookie (excuse the bad lighting in my kitchen):
Since I ate an embarrassing number of cookies today, I opted to go for a slightly healthier but just as easy dinner.
Pasta with organic kale (which we froze over the summer), bell peppers, diced Chinese eggplant, garlic, frozen peas, and crushed tomatoes. I threw the topping together in a frying pan while the pasta cooked and I was ready to eat in ten minutes.