Vegan Buttercream & Vegan Icing

I outline all my sugar cookies in buttercream frosting. Not only does it taste amazing (duh, it’s buttercream), but it holds shape well and gives me texture I can’t get with my normal runny frosting.

A while back (when I made these) I made vegan buttercream using vegan butter. I made it a little bit different this time, but honestly it’s super adaptable so you can go many ways.

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Vegan Buttercream

Ingredients:

1 stick vegan butter (I used the Earth Balance baking sticks)

1 lb powdered sugar

3 tbsp almond milk (you can also use soymilk, coconut water, nondairy creamer, etc.)

2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Dump powdered sugar in the mixing bowl, and top with the vegan butter, cut into small chunks.

2. Add the almond milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.

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The next part was more challenging. I normally use an icing made of just powdered sugar and milk, and it dries into a nice hard icing. THANK GOODNESS I tested the icing with almond milk the night before I needed it. It never set up! (Even 3 days later!) Once I realized this, I jumped into plan B. Pam at Cookie Crazie to the rescue! Pam is a minority in the cookie decorating world because she uses Glaze instead of Royal Icing. Royal Icing is made with either egg whites or meringue powder (which is made of egg whites). Glaze is made with corn syrup and water! Perrrrfect for vegan cookies. As I had never made actual Glaze before, I started with Pam’s recipe and tweaked it just slightly.

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(Vegan) Glaze Icing

Ingredients:

1 lb powdered sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract

scant 1/2 tsp almond extract

approx 1/4 cup water

few drops of white food coloring

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together, adding white food coloring last.

2. Add more water to thin if necessary. (I did add a bit more water to mine.)

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This icing is so lovely. It flows only slightly thicker than my icing, but works pretty much the same way. And it dries so much nicer than mine.

I was bummed that I didn’t have any extra cookies for the shower so that I could taste one with the icing. The next cookies I make I’m going to use Glaze again so I can taste test. :) It might just be my new icing of choice!

 

 

 

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Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe

I recently made vegan sugar cookies for the first time. I was stressed about it because I was planning on using an egg substitute that I’d read about but I couldn’t find it in any of my local grocery stores. I’ve used vegan butter in the past (when I made these) so I knew that wouldn’t be a problem.

We came across this recipe from Betty Crocker, and it seemed simple enough so I went with it. I only changed 1 thing – I used almond milk instead of soy milk because that’s what I had on hand. If someone has a nut allergy, make sure you use the soymilk! The dough was a little hard to work with, as it was very crumbly. My usual dough is pretty sticky so it was a challenge for me. But I didn’t have to use even a sprinkle of flour. I rolled it right out on my board and went to baking. The first sheet I only baked 3 cookies on. I didn’t want to waste my time rolling it all out if they weren’t going to bake well or taste good!

Well….. they were SO SO yummy! Like almost good enough to use just this recipe from now on! Almost. The crumbly dough part will keep me from that. Next time I will tweak it a little bit to try to get it a bit wetter/stickier. For now though, this recipe is perfect for anyone looking to make vegan sugar cookies, so I wanted to share!

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Vegan Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup vegan butter (2 of the baking sticks)

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

2 1/2 cups flour

Directions:

1. Mix together powdered sugar, butter, almond milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Add cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar. SLowly add flour. Knead well to help mix in the crumbles.

2. Roll and cut, then bake at 375* for 7 minutes. Let cool for a couple minutes before moving to a drying rack.

Later this week I will share my vegan frosting and icing recipes! :)

 

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(Vegan) Elephant & Giraffe Baby Shower Cookies

A girl I went to school with is currently a surrogate, in her 3rd trimester with twin baby girls! Surrogacy is such an amazing thing to be able to do and I love following her story!

She is throwing a baby shower for the parents of her growing little baby girls, and asked me to make her some cookies. Only thing is they had to be vegan! I have to admit the idea stressed me out to have to find/test a recipe and everything, but they ended up working perfectly and taste AMAZING!

The recipe can be found here.

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For the shower I made pink elephants and purple giraffes. Hope the mama and daddy love them!

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Stitch Fix Maternity

I know this is weird and totally not dessert related. Let me explain.

Stitch Fix, in case you haven’t heard of it before, is basically a personal styling service. You pay a monthly fee of $20, and you get a box once a month with 5 items in it. You get to try them on at home, pair them with things you already own, and get your spouse’s input without having to drag them to the store. ;)

You pick which items you want to keep, and send the rest back. They even give you a pre-paid envelope that fits right in your mailbox. So easy. Then you check out online and pay for your items. The $20 styling fee gets deducted from whatever you decide to keep. If you send all items back, all you pay is the styling fee. If you keep all 5 items, there’s a 25% discount! They send clothes mostly, but also jackets, jewelry, and scarves.

You can leave a personal note such as “I have a Christmas party coming up, send all dresses” or ask for a specific item like a certain brand of pants you loved from your box the month before.

You can also create a Pinterest board with clothing that you love and they actually look at it and try to find things similar to things you’ve pinned. How cool is that?!

Anyway, I’ve been doing Stitch Fix for probably over a year now. I recently left a note asking for no pants or bottoms, and flowy-er tops because I’m in early pregnancy. I also let them know that the next box would probably be my last until after baby.

To my surprise, Stitch Fix now does maternity! There’s always a little note from your stylist, and she let me know, so I went online and updated my Stitch Fix profile. They even ask for your due date so they can keep track of how far along you are.

Immediately I started scouring the interwebs for “Stitch Fix maternity.” Every result I got said something like “even though Stitch Fix doesn’t exactly do maternity…” and went on about how you can make certain things work or tailor your box to your current needs. So now Stitch Fix does do maternity… This must be BRAND NEW! So since I couldn’t find anything, I decided to be the place other searchers will find. Stitch Fix DOES DO MATERNITY NOW!

So I thought I would share what I received in my first Stitch Fix Maternity box! Here we go….

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This cardigan was huge on me. I liked the colors a lot and the style, so I was a little disappointed. It has pockets in the front too. This particular cardigan might not technically be maternity (I don’t know if it is or not), but it doesn’t matter. Cardigans are perfect for maternity because you can wear any maternity shirt with it. I was pregnant last time in the summer so all of my shirts are short-sleeved or sleeveless. I sent this back. It was just too big.

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I really liked the colors and pattern of this shirt. I also love that it comes down to a V in the front. I wasn’t a big fan of the band at the bottom. My belly got pretty big last time so I don’t think this would fit for long. I sent this back.

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I LOVE this sweater. It’s light but still warm, and will fit for a while. The color looks brown here, but it’s really more of a dark purple. I prefer brighter colors, but it’s not bad. I kept it.

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These pants. As you can tell, they’re pretty tight. Really comfy, but a little too “skinny” as far as skinny jeans go. The top is amazing though. The stretch bands are to the side, so I think they would stay up better than most maternity pants do. I sent these back.

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This dress I don’t think is technically maternity. The front-view on the left is the dress pulled down where it’s supposed to sit. The band it right across the top of my belly. Not comfortable and probably wouldn’t fit for long. In the front-view on the right I kind of hiked the dress up a little bit. It fit a lot better and was more comfortable. As dresses with pregnant bellies go, if they’re not maternity they just shorten in the front as you grow. And that’s exactly how this one would go. If I wasn’t pregnant I probably would have kept the dress. Cute for a night out or for a holiday party.

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If you don’t do Stitch Fix, you should try it! Whether pregnant or not. ;) Clicking on any of the links above will take you to the site via my referral link.

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Funfetti Sugar Cookies

These are so cute and fun, and just perfect for the New Year!

They held their shape pretty well so they would be just the perfect substitute for any regular cut-out cookie recipe!

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Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
scant 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup dry cake mix (Funfetti, white, or yellow cake)
1/4 cup jimmies (long sprinkles)

Directions:
1. Cream together butter and sugar. (I like to cut my butter up into chunks first so that I don’t have to wait for it to come to room temperature.)

2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Scrape bowl if necessary.

3. Keeping mixer on low speed, add salt and baking powder. Slowly add flour then dry cake mix.

4. Knead the extra sprinkles in by hand. I tried using my mixer and it chopped some of them up.

5. Roll and cut as desired. I roll my cookies 1/8″ thick and bake for 9 minutes. Thinner cookies will cook faster.

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For these I just made a plain clear/white icing. I added 6 tbsp+1 tsp of milk to 1 lb of powdered sugar, and mixed until syrup consistency. Pour into a bottle and squeeze onto the cookies.

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Happy New Year!

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Big News!

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Baby #2 is on the way!

I’ve been feeling great most of the time. So little symptoms I almost forget I’m pregnant! (While you’d think that’s good it also causes anxiety at times!)

No cravings to really speak of yet, and no particular aversions either. Certain things just don’t sound good at certain times. But that’s normal for most people anyways. 😜

I am definitely getting bigger faster this time. It started getting pretty hard to hide at work, so I ended up just having to come out and tell everyone. Most of them said they already suspected.

My little guy is 15 months, and will be 21 months when I deliver in June. I love that they’ll be so close in age, but it will definitely be challenging too.

I look forward to the year to come and plan on sharing a little bit more about myself, my journey, and my experiences. If that’s okay!

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Christmas Cookies

A little late but better late than never right?

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Pumpkin Smash Cake

Reese turns 1 right around Thanksgiving time, so her party was pumpkin themed!

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I got to make the smash cake!

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Poor Reese got burned on her candle while everyone was singing to her, so she was terrified of her cake from that point on.

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Mama had to cut it up to give her some, at which point all was again right with the world. :)

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Happy Birthday Reese!

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Fingernail Polish Cookies

HOW CUTE are these?!?

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A coworker asked me to make these for her friend’s 11 year-old daughter.

I used my wine bottle cookie cutter, and trimmed as necessary.

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I outlined in all black because it makes the colors pop.

Then just made the brightest funnest (yes I said funnest) colors I could! The white “glare marks” really brought them to life.

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Margarita Cookies

I have been wanting to make margarita cookies for a while now, but never had the right opportunity. I even had the cutter on hand!

When Suzanne asked me to make her margarita cookies for a rehearsal dinner, I was stoked!

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The “salt” rim was made with clear chunky sugar sprinkles.

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I also make some with the couple’s initials.

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