Here at Refinery, we believe in equal cookie rights for all. In an office full of vegetarians, macrobiotic fans, and gluten-free folks (not to mention us omnivores), we're no strangers to alternative diets. So, when we realized how many of you are vegan devotees, we took the opportunity to jump into the meat-and-dairy-free section and see what we liked. The result was, obviously, cookies. The good news? While we've had our fair share of lousy vegan baked goods, it turns out they don't actually have to be made hard as rock and bland as melba toast! These three cookie recipes require no fancy butter or egg substitutes, and came out as sweet, crumbly, and dunk-able as any we've ever had. Pass the soy milk, please!
Almond Raspberry Thumbprints
Preheat the oven to 350. This twist on the traditional jam-in-the-middle cookies is an almond lover's dream. It comes off as a lightly sweetened version of a marzipan confection, with about a tenth of the effort.
1 1/2 cups margarine or vegan butter (Earth Balance is bomb)
3 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp almond paste
2 cups flour
2 tbsp water (a splash more if necessary)
1/2 cup raspberry jam
Cream together "butter," almond extract, and sugar.
Add the almond paste by crumbling in with your fingers. Mix until well incorporated.
Add flour and mix in. The dough will start to get clumpy, so here's where you add the water.
Mix until you have a sticky, firm dough.
Scoop out tablespoon-sized scoops, and roll into balls.
Line them up on a lined baking sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon (or your thumb), press indentations into the balls.
Fill the indentations with about half a teaspoon of raspberry jam, and bake for 10-12 minutes.
These won't really brown, but trust, they're done. If you're not totally sure, just shove 'em in your face. Yeah, they're done.
Old-School Peanut Butter Cookies
These sweet, salty, crumbly confections instantly reminded us of Nutter Butters eaten during childhood snack times (and, well, adult snack times). We created this spin-off recipe based on Rustic Garden Bistro's much-loved vegan PB cookie. If it ain't broke — bake it.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup peanut butter (go JIF if you like salty, natural if not)
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Add maple syrup and vanilla, stirring until well combined.
Add dry ingredients...
...and stir/mash until you have a crumbly (and highly edible) dough.
Roll into golf-ball-sized balls and place onto a lined baking sheet. Using the back of a fork, press a hashtag-style print onto the balls. History shows that peanut butter cookies just taste better this way.
Bake for ten minutes, and commence to NOM.
Lemon-Lime Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven to 350. Holy (dairy-free) macaroni, are these good. The simplest of the bunch, these cookies come together so fast and so YUMMY, that we're afraid to be left alone with our lemon zester.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of half a lemon
Juice of half a lime
3/4 cup canola oil
Zest lemon and lime, and combine with dry ingredients.
Squeeze juice into the dry combo — pick out seeds!
Pour in oil and stir, stir, stir.
You'll get a sticky, sandy dough like this.
Roll cookies into tablespoon-sized balls (sound familiar?) and drop onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies expand and start to crack a bit.
Get ready to have your mind blown by a cookie.
Photographed by Chris Baker