These vegan cookies are delicious, buttery, crumbly yet slightly moist and generally amazing. Friends have asked for the recipe so here it is. I’m not vegan but can say they’re some of my favourite biscuits! It’s also nice to know they’re animal fat-free with vegan butter while the egg’s replaced by simple aquafaba, the liquid from a jar of cooked chickpeas. I’ve made these cookies gluten free and a little healthier with one-third pure maple syrup to two-thirds unrefined caster sugar but standard flours and sugars can be used. The texture is like soft shortbread but creamier inside and the buttery crunch from pieces of macadamia nut works beautifully with the rich flavour of pure vanilla extract. The pure cocoa butter helps create an unusually tasty and lightly moist crumb. It’s hard to describe how yummy these are despite not being very showy and they proved extremely popular and addictive at a Catalan friend’s house around Christmas time and on many other occasions: hikes, picnics, teaching breaks between classes… so now sharing these vegan vanilla macadamia cookies with you! Yum yum.
For a no-fuss version flatten rustic rounds by hand.
Or roll out the dough and use cutters for slightly knobbly round cookies or Valentine hearts. For the Chinese New Year dinner at my house yesterday there were ‘rustic’ pig-shaped cookies too!
To be honest after eating one you won’t care what shape they are! Lol. Let’s just make them…
They’re based on Hannah Bittersweet’s Vanilla Bean cookies (please go there for lineal typed instructions). My cookies are gluten-free and have more flour, less vanilla plus unrefined sugars like pure maple syrup in the usual attempt to make relatively lighter healthier treats.
Makes 2 large trays (each 30 x 40cm) – around 50 to 60 cookies in total, depending on size and shape (you can freeze half the dough wrapped in plastic film to make cookies another day – they come out great!)
- 114g/4oz 100% food-grade cocoa butter (or mycryo cocoa butter)
- 60g/1/4 cup vegan butter or margarine (I used one with olive oil in it)
- 130g/1/2 cup plus 3 and 2/3 tsp caster (superfine) sugar (I used unrefined golden caster sugar) or granulated sugar
- 70g/2 and 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 426g/3 and 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Doves Farm self-raising gluten free) or plain all-purpose flour (3 and scant 1/2 cups) – you could try with less flour like in the original recipe then add more at the end if needed
- 1 tsp (5g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (2g) fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp (2g) baking soda
- 80g/1/4 cup aquafaba – I used the liquid directly from a jar of chickpeas (relatively low-sodium with 0,1g salt per 100g)
- 2 tsp (9-10g) pure vanilla extract, to taste
- 132g/1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
Actually don’t knead 1 or 2 minutes – 10 to 20 seconds is best. Don’t overwork.
Shapes and pigs
Roll to 6-8mm thick between 2 sheets of baking paper (lightly floured). Cut shapes with a pastry cutter.
The pigs: cut rounds then lightly push in black sesame seeds for the eyes, shape a snout and poke two holes with a toothpick. Stick on two triangle ears. It’s easy and the pastry stays on (no need for water to stick bits on).
Storing and eating
They keep up to a week at room temperature in an airtight container. They travel well and get a warm welcome wherever they go.
I used the pig-shaping technique from these healthier pineapple tarts (recipe here), also very tasty!
So maybe you’d like to try these vegan macadamia vanilla cookies … ?
Some nice simple ones…
Or hearts and pigs?
Will say farewell sweet reader and for those of you who celebrate I wish you an excellent happy Chinese new year of the Pig! Apparently pig years are great for friendships and sociable activities… and for making cookies to share! So happy baking, sharing and eating! 🙂 Lili x