Jay asked me to make the most delicious sugar cookies possible this year for Santa, and I can’t think of any that can beat my cardamom sugar cookies with mango icing.
These really are the best sugar cookies, ever. They are slightly chewy, which I love, and sweet, with a hint of cardamom for that je ne sais quoi. They are also just the perfect base for this gooey, mango-ey icing free of any artificial colors, although you could eat them without any icing at all.
I usually make cutout sugar cookies, and I love them, but these chewy sugar cookies don’t need any cookie cutters — all you need to do is roll them out into little balls and place them on your baking sheet. Couldn’t be easier.
The mango icing was a bit of a brainwave. I have used artificial coloring in the past while making cookies and cupcakes, but when I can use natural, which is far safer, why wouldn’t I? The mango adds a lovely orange hue, and it adds that marvelous flavor that goes perfectly with the cardamom in the cookies. The other natural coloring/flavoring agent I’ve added to my frosting in the past has been orange juice, which adds a lovely yellow color. I’ve also seen beet juice and turmeric often used as natural dyes although I’m not sure I’d love the bitter flavor of turmeric in a sweet frosting. Have you experimented with natural dyes in your icing or frosting?
The holidays are almost here, folks. We finally got our tree up this past weekend, and Billy promptly attacked it. He is really cute and a royal pain, all rolled into a beautiful, black-and-white package. He sneaks up to the tree when no one is watching, and has tried a number of shenanigans, including one attempt to climb the tree. Now, every morning, when Desi comes down to make the tea, he finds at least one ornament broken or torn to shreds. I have never had any of my cats do this in the past, but Billy is in a league of his own.
Vegan Cardamom Sugar Cookies with Mango Icing
Delectable vegan cardamom sugar cookies slathered with a delicious mango icing for natural color and amazing flavor.
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup vegan butter or margarine or transfat-free shortening or coconut oil. The coconut oil is a healthier option but it will add some flavor to the cookies, which I don't love in this recipe, but if you don't mind it, go for it.
- 1 1/2 cups cane or turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 1/2 cup mango puree
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Make the cookies:
Mix the non-dairy milk and vinegar and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a stand mixer or in a large bowl, place the softened butter or margarine or coconut oil and beat with the sugar until everything is soft and well-mixed.
Add the applesauce, vanilla extract, and cardamom powder and mix well.
Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing with a spatula after each addition until everything is incorporated. Add the milk and mix. The dough should not be wet but moist enough to come together in a ball.
Using your fingers, pinch off a small portion of the dough and roll into a smooth ball. Flatten it slightly and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Leave at least an inch between the cookies because they will spread.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown.
Remove, and after two minutes, slide off the cookies with a spatula to a rack to let them cool.
Make the icing:
Soak the cashews in water for at least six hours
Drain the cashews and blend them in a very smooth paste. You might need to add some water-- if you do, add no more than a tablespoon at a time to make the blender blades move. I needed about 1/4 cup of water.
Place the cashew paste in a colander covered with a double layer of cheesecloth and leave alone for a couple of hours. This will help remove some of the liquid and thicken the paste.
In a bowl, mix the cashew paste, mango puree, sugar, vanilla extract and mix well with a whisk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frosting the cookies (make sure the cookies are thoroughly cooled first).