Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies
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You may think butter, eggs and milk are requirements for a delicious cookie, but the soft and chewy sugar cookies from the new cookbook, Voila Vegan: 85 Decadent, Secretly Plant-Based Desserts From an American Patisserie in Paris by Amanda Bankert, beg to differ.
Made with vegetable shortening, aquafaba (aka the liquid you drain from a can of chickpeas) and non-dairy milk, these cookies are tender, comforting and surprisingly plant-based. The recipe only calls for ten ingredients and no special steps, so the treats are as easy to prepare as the ones you’re used to making.
“These scrumptious, versatile cookies are the ideal base for countless recipes,” writes Bankert. “Leave ’em plain, top them with sprinkles or granulated sugar for a bit of color and crunch [or] use them for making lunette [cookies] or ice cream sandwiches.”
© Excerpted from Voila Vegan: 85 Decadent, Secretly Plant-Based Desserts From an American Patisserie in Paris Copyright © 2023 by Amanda Bankert. Published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
2½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup (100 grams) solid white vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
3 tablespoons aquafaba
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
⅓ cup (80 milliliters) plant-based milk
1 cup (200 grams) sprinkles (optional)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. (Though it’s not necessary to sift the ingredients beforehand, you can give them a quick whisk to aerate the flour and mix everything together.)
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the shortening, sugar, aquafaba, vanilla extract and almond extract on high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. When the ingredients are fully incorporated, add the milk and mix everything on medium speed. Next, add the dry ingredients in two parts by slowly pouring in half of the flour mixture first and combining on low speed before adding the rest. You want to make sure you don’t overwork the dough.
3. If you’re not baking the cookies immediately, divide the dough into two equally-portioned flat disks and cover them in plastic wrap. You can chill the dough for up to two days.
4. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
5. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to about ½ inch (1 centimeter) thick. (If the dough has been chilling in the fridge, let it rest at room temperature for half an hour before rolling.)
6. Using a four-inch (10-centimeter) round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough. If using sprinkles, add them to a shallow bowl and press the tops of the cookies into the sprinkles, then place them right side-up on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until golden brown. Store them in an airtight container for up to one week.