Vegan Danish Butter Cookies
Sunday coffee at grandma and grandpa's: lace blankets, black tea, and freshly baked cake. But there's one thing you can't miss: Danish butter cookies from the typical blue box. At least, that's how it always was with me. Although the small cookies look so humble, I love them very much! The crisp consistency and the buttery vanilla taste are simply wonderful. High time for a vegan alternative!
To veganize them, I first looked at the ingredient list: wheat flour, butter, sugar, shredded coconut, table salt, raising agents, and some other dubious ingredients. It can't be that difficult to veganize these delicious little cookies,right? Well, how can I put it? It was pretty complicated, after all! Vegan butter is easy to substitute. The most significant difficulty in vegan baking is usually finding the right binding agent. Where conventional baking uses an egg, vegans rely on soy flour, flaxseed, applesauce, silken tofu, starch, and more. By the way, you can find all the tips and tricks on replacing eggs in baking here. I decided to use cornstarch in this case. That worked out great, but as soon as I solved this problem, the next one came up: How do I get the cookies into the right shape?
As a first step, I got myself a pastry press. At first, my dough was much too firm to be pressed through the pressAfter adding some more water it was so soft that it didn't bake well. After numerous attempts and watching Youtube videos (on how to use pastry syringes correctly) later, I finally got the hang of it. The important thing is that you follow the steps outlined in the recipe exactly: If you want to make round or pretzel-shaped cookies, add a little more flour and store the dough in the refrigerator before shaping. If you want to use a piping bag or pastry press, the dough shouldn’t be too cold to remain pliable and easier to work with. If it is too firm, you can add a little water (2 tablespoons are often enough). You can also roll out the dough and cut it out. In this case you should also add a little more flour to the dough and store the dough in the refrigerator for half an hour beforehand.
Vegan Danish Butter Cookies
- 200 g (1.75 stick) vegan butter (room temperature)
- 130 g (1 cup) powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 2 tsp vanilla paste
- 300 g (2.5 cups) flour
- brown sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F (convection heat). Beat vegan butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer. Then add cornstarch, salt, water, and vanilla paste, and mix until combined. Gradually add the flour and mix it in with the dough hooks of the hand mixer until you get a smooth, but rather firm dough.
Now the dough can be further processed as desired:
For the curls and flowers:
Transfer the dough to a piping bag or pastry press with a star nozzle and pipe the dough into the shapes of curls. If the dough is too firm to be pressed through the nozzle, knead in more cold water. For the cookie flowers, use the appropriate attachment of the pastry press. Again, if the dough is too firm to work with, knead in some cold water.
For the round cookie cutters:
Knead about 2 extra tablespoons of flour into the dough until it becomes noticeably firmer. Shape the dough into a long roll about 3 cm (1.2 inches) in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Then cut into slices about 0.5 cm (0.2 inches) thick.
For the pretzels:
Knead about 2 extra tablespoons of flour into the dough until it becomes noticeably firmer. Roll out the dough into long strings and shape them into pretzels. Toss the pretzels in brown sugar before baking.
- Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 180°C/355°F (convection heat) for approx. 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown.