Vegan Orange Nougat Cookies
When my family thinks about which Christmas cookies we should bake for the season, I know immediately which ones must not be missing. As the recipe title already reveals, it's all about orange-nougat cookies.
They have been my absolute favorites since I first ate them as a kid. But since my mom's recipe isn't vegan, it was time to finally veganize it, which, luckily, was really easy. I only had to replace butter and eggs with vegan butter and applesauce – and that's how I got the plant-based version of my favorite Christmas cookies.
I still have a few tips for you before you start baking.
Chilled dough: Be sure to refrigerate the dough before working with it – this helps forming dough balls. If the dough is too soft, the cookies quickly melt in the oven because the vegan butter is too soft. Also, the dough balls shouldn't be too big, as they will get even bigger in the oven.
Sifting is the key: Take time and sift the flour and powdered sugar into the bowl of ingredients. This will make the cookies very soft and even more delicious.
Storing in the fridge: If you have some space in your fridge, store the cookies in it. This way, the chocolate will get a nice snap. It's not a must, though. The cookies will keep well for 3-4 weeks (or even longer) inside and outside the fridge. Let them cool down before you transfer them into sealable containers.
50 shapes of cookies: You can also form hearts, triangles, or whatever you desire out of the dough. There are no limits to your creativity.
Vegan Orange Nougat Cookies
For the cookies:
- 250 g (2.25 sticks) vegan butter
- 150 g (1.25 cup) powdered sugar
- 1.5 tsp (8 g) vanilla sugar
- 1.5 oranges (zest)
- 4 tbsp applesauce
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 300 g (10.5 oz) spelt flour (type 630)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 200 g (7 oz) vegan baking nougat
- 200 g (7 oz) vegan dark chocolate
Add vegan butter to a large bowl and beat it with a hand mixer until fluffy. Gradually sift in the powdered sugar, add the vanilla sugar and continue to beat.
Wash the oranges and grate the zest from one orange. Keep the remaining zest of the half orange for garnish later. Then add the zest, applesauce, and orange juice to the bowl. Sift in the flour, add the salt and mix everything well. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/355°F (convection heat). Moisten your hands a little and form about 50 balls of dough. Flatten them slightly and arrange them on a lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes until they're lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool down.
Once the cookies have cooled, melt vegan nougat in a double boiler and spread about one teaspoon of it on one cookie. Place a second cookie on top and press it down lightly. Refrigerate the cookies for about 30 minutes until the nougat is firm.
Now melt the chocolate in a double boiler and dip the cookies halfway into it, one after the other. As long as the chocolate is not solid, you can decorate the cookies with some more orange zest.