27 February 2011

Recipe Testing: Cookies!

Need a sugar fix? Sexy Vegan Mama's Amaretto Sugar Cookies and Kahlua Crinkle Cookies are sure to satisfy a craving for something sweet. These goodies are the latest test recipes I've attempted from Christina-Marie "Sexy Vegan Mama" Wright and William Maltese's forthcoming cookbook, Sweet and Simple Vegan Desserts, which is due to hit shelves later this year.

The Amaretto Sugar Cookies are reminiscent of the roll-and-cut cookies from childhood--which is to say, they're wonderful. Rather than the normal extract, liqueur is used here, which works just fine in infusing these cookies with lovely almond flavor. These fun, versatile baked treats can be as soft or as crisp as one desires, depending upon how long the dough is allowed to bake. Preferring my cookies on the softer side, I baked the batch for the minimum duration needed for the dough to bake through, approximately 10 minutes. Firm outside, yielding inside, and topped with glittery, cinnamon-sugar crunch, the Amaretto Sugar Cookies were very much a hit with all who tasted them.
Notes on the making of Sexy Vegan Mama's Amaretto Sugar Cookies:
- As with other roll-and-cut doughs, I only re-rolled the dough once in order to avoid toughening the resulting cookies.
- I don't suggest baking the cookies until they begin to brown. I baked a few for up to 15 minutes, just to see if they would ever color along the edges, and they never did. What were crunchy cookies the day of baking became rock-solid the next day. What's true for all cookies is true for these as well: do not over-bake!
- The almond flavor was very subtle, contrary what I expected. But the cookies were still delicious--just the proper amount of sweetness--with or without the cinnamon-sugar coating. Almond icing (suggested in the recipe) appropriately accentuated the cookies' underlying nutty essence, but again, they are fine unadorned.

The Kahlua Crinkle Cookies are also familiar treats that evoke fond memories of childhood--of time spent in the kitchen as my mom's eager assistant, or peddling lemonade and warm baked goods at yard sales and on dull summer days, all involving flour-dusted counter tops and happy, sugar-filled bellies. As with the sugar cookies, Sexy Vegan Mama's crinkle cookies include liqueur as a flavoring (Kahlua, in this case), rather than the extracts found in many cookie recipes. Easy to make, albeit a bit messy, these chocolaty bites were received well by my chocolate- and cookie-loving family.
Notes on the making of Sexy Vegan Mama's Kahlua Crinkle Cookies:
- Mixing all of the dry ingredients with the wet was challenging, because the dough became very thick and stiff. For future batches, I would try to add half the water to the wet ingredients before adding the dry, then add additional water if it is necessary to moisten the dough in order to achieve a more workable consistency.
- The recipe yielded 57 pieces, rather than the projected 65, likely due to inconsistency when rolling the pre-baked dough into balls. The size of each resulting cookie (consumable in a bite or two) seemed appropriate, given their richness.
- The coffee flavor was quite faint, so if anything, the Kahlua probably enhanced the chocolate factor, rather than adding any distinct essence of its own. Of course, intense chocolate flavoring was not unexpected, considering the amount of cocoa it required, nor was it a bad thing.
- The cookies were crisp on the outside, yet fudgy inside, resembling the texture of a brownie. The cookies remained moist for as long as they lasted (a few days).
- I was alarmed at the amount of sugar called for in the recipe: two cups total for the dough itself, one for the crinkle coating. The cookies ended up being much sweeter than I tend to prefer my desserts, although no one else seemed to mind. The bite-sized nature of the cookies helped in this regard, making it easy to limit myself to one or two cookies per sitting. Because the dough balls really do require a heavy coating of powdered sugar in order to yield the best crackled look, I would likely reduce the amount of sugar in the dough itself in subsequent batches to moderate the sweetness, hopefully without negatively altering the texture.

Both cookie varieties were good, and definitely promise to satisfy any sudden urges for sugar consumption. I anticipate more sweet delights as recipe testing continues (see my previous recipe review here). Be sure to visit Sexy Vegan Mama's blog for more of her original creations.

6 comments:

  1. Those cookies look really taste. But now all I can think about is an elk cookie cutter. So cute!

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  2. Is that a moose-shaped sugar cookie?! Love it. But three cups of sugar does sound like an awful lot for the crinkle cookies... They look amazing, either way!

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  3. Both look delicious! I wish I had a cookie about right now.

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  4. Those ameretto sugar cookies sound so good and the kahlua cookies as well! I am glad you posted those, because I never knew that kahlua was vegan!

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  5. Those ameretto sugar cookies sound so good and the kahlua cookies as well! I am glad you posted those, because I never knew that kahlua was vegan!

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  6. Is that a moose-shaped sugar cookie?! Love it. But three cups of sugar does sound like an awful lot for the crinkle cookies... They look amazing, either way!

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)