Vegan Fruitcake Cookies

Fruitcakecookies

Hello world! Is there anyone out there? I’m not sure if anyone will ever read this, but I decided to put it out here into the world-wide-web just in case. Since Thanksgiving I have eaten a vegan plant-based diet, and learning to cook what feels like completely from scratch. It was pretty intimidating in the beginning, and I was afraid that this meant my all-time favorite annual Christmas activity (baking Christmas cookies!) would come to an end this year. After reading many blogs and trying out a few recipes (with success!) I have been slowly regaining my confidence in these new skills following vegan cooking methods/substitutions. I decided that the one culinary goal I was going to set for myself this holiday season was to “veganize” my favorite Christmas cookie: a recipe for Fruitcake Cookies by Ina Garten. After experimenting a bit during this week leading up to Christmas I came out with a winner that I honestly cannot spot the difference between the two! This new version is just as yummy, healthier, and follows my new diet. Mission accomplished, and I plan to keep setting goals of “veganizing” all of my old favorite non-vegan dishes. If there is anyone that happened to stumble upon my little post, hello! Please try out this recipe and tell me if you enjoyed it as much as I do:)

Fruitcake Cookies:
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Fruitcake Cookies

Ingredients:
8 dried figs
4 ounces raisins
1 ounce dried cherries
1 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 ounces chopped pecans
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick non-dairy butter (I used an Earth Balance buttery stick)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup sugar (I used an organic coconut palm sugar)
1/3 cup light brown sugar or turbinado sugar
1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seed + 3 tbsp water)
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
Directions:
Remove the tough stems of the figs with scissors or a small knife and coarsely chop the figs. In a medium bowl, combine the figs, raisins, cherries, apricots, maple syrup, sherry, lemon juice, pecans, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.

The next day…

Get your chia-egg ready so it can get gooey while you prep the rest of the ingredients!

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or old-fashioned elbow grease), cream the non-dairy butter,cloves, sugar, and brown/turbinado sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the chia-egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined. Don’t over mix! Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a 12 by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll the dough into a log, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch-long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm (when I’m impatient I put it into the freezer for a little over an hour, hehe)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. I was able to get 28 cookies from this!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season:)

-Miche

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