Sparkling vegan butter cookies with chocolate coating that are soft, easy to sprinkle or coat with chocolate. And a story about the Boston Marathon.
Vegan Butter Cookies & Boston Marathon
Vegan sugar cookies coated in chocolate and a story. Here is the story first.
I grew up in Boston. I went to college in Boston. I don't live there now, but Boston will always be my hometown. So I am in a good position to know that Boston is also home to the butter cookies. Bakeries abound there dedicated to the butter cookie.
One of my favorites was in a marketplace downtown there called "Faneuil Hall." My friends and I would head there first on every excursion to grab a cookie to munch while we walked the market.
They actually made all flavors of butter cookies, not just vanilla. And although this recipe here is traditional vanilla, I think perhaps I might in the future try for my favorite from that bakery, a chocolate cardamom butter cookie.
Anyway, one year, in my 20s, I was preparing to run the Boston Marathon for charity, not officially.
It was in support of a charity dear to my heart, and it was to be my first marathon and I was wildly excited.
How to NOT to Train for Boston Marathon
I had been running for years, but typically only 3 miles or so a few times a week. To train for this 26+ mile run, I stepped up my runs to 3-miles daily and 7 miles once a week.
Later, I was told I probably didn't train hard enough, at least long distance.
They might have been right?
The day of the marathon came, and I headed there with ride-home subway money zipped in my wind-breaker pocket.
How NOT to Get Home After Running a 26+ Mile Marathon
Yes, I actually expected to take the subway home when I reached the finish line. (Needless to say, no one had warned me about the jelly legs I would experience after 26+ mile run.)
Don't ask me why I didn't arrange a ride or ask a friend to join me - I guess I was very much into doing my own thing at that time.
Anyway, I put on my charity bib, joined the unofficial runners at the back, and we were off!
The weather was stunning, quintessential New England spring, cool and dry.
I was running well, even bumped into a famous Boston district judge who I knew from work. And as I inevitably tired, I was somewhat refreshed by the tiny cups volunteers offered runners as we passed their tables.
But by the time I had neared Heartbreak Hill, about 20 miles in to the 26+ mile race, I was fading fast.
I was not just tired.
How I DIDN'T eat My Nikes During Boston Marathon
I remember so many feelings that I can't even list them all, but the memory is still strong. The biggest was that I felt so hungry that the image of me eating my Nike sneaker actually entered my head.
So imagine my joy when I saw a little bakery off the path, with its door open and a number of people crowding around the tiny counter.
I jogged right in, and kept jogging in place as I handed over my subway money for a butter cookie.
No. Cookie. Ever. Tasted. So. Good.
And so that is why butter cookies will always hold a special place in my heart.
The Cookie That Helped Me Finish Boston Marathon
Now that I am vegan, however, it wasn't hard to make them vegan. I used a vegan butter. And in this variation, I decided to coat them with a dark chocolate, 85% cacao in fact.
And I decided to top them with a heavy coating of diamond-tiara-worthy sparkling sugar, like sparkling diamonds!
Hikes any dessert to a celebratory level. And did I finish the marathon? Yes!
Did I take the subway home? No!
Not only did I no longer have the fare, but I couldn't have walked to the station, haha.
Luckily my lovely kind roommates were at the finish-line, cheering me to the end!
About These Vegan Butter Cookies
Now of course we need to talk about this sugar cookie. I love this version because it's only a half-dozen ingredients and they are all fairly common, although you'll have to get your hands on some vegan butter. I use Earth Balance.
Other Tips To Make These Vegan Butter Cookies
1. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and peel back the top sheet to cut shapes. You won't need flour this way and thus the cookies won't dry out.
2. After you cut out the shapes, use a small fork or knife to peel away the dough between the shapes and re-roll that left-over dough and cut into shapes and keep repeating until all dough is cut and on the parchment paper.
3. Lift the parchment that holds the cutout cookies onto a cookie sheet and put the cookie sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. This will help the cookies remain flat while baking.
4. To dip the cookies in melted chocolate, first freeze the cooled cookies for about 15 minutes or even 30 so that when you dip the cookie, the chocolate solidifies quickly upon touching the cold cookie. This allows a thinner, more even chocolate layer.
You might want to check out my other cookie recipes including:
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Vegan Butter Cookies
Vegan Sugar Sandwich Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet pan and set aside. Warm the butter so it's easy to cream. Either leave it at room temperature for a few hours or carefully microwave it until it is soft, not runny.
Measure the Flour
- Measure the flour carefully. It must be exact or your cookies will be too dry or too wet. Loosen the flour in the flour bag with a spoon. Then carefully spoon the right amount into a 1 cup measuring cup and level off.Add the flour to a sieve along with the baking soda and salt, and sift into a large bowl.
Make the Cookies
- Add the butter and cream until pasty. Then add the sugar, vanilla and milk. Hand mix with a spoon until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the batter, kneading with your hands until all ingredients are combined.
- Wrap cookie dough in a piece of parchment, and freeze it for 15 minutes.Then I take it out, add another sheet of parchment paper on top and roll until it is about ½ inch thick.
- Peel off the top parchment. Cut shapes. I used a round cutter. And peel away dough between the cut out shapes. Repeat until you have a parchment full of cut out shapes.
- Bake them 9-11 minutes or until you see the cookie edges appear dry. You want the center to be soft; it will harden as the cookies cool.
- Lift the parchment with the cookies on it onto a cookie sheet. I always use a ¼ cookie sheet size for ease of handling. Freeze the cookies for 15 minutes before baking to ensure they don't puff up too much.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove them and add the sparkling sugar at the point if you intend to. Let the cookies cool completely. Prior to dipping them into chocolate, put them in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
Make the Dipping Sauce
- Break up the bar, put the pieces and the tsp of coconut oil in a micro-wave safe bowl, and zap it for 60 seconds. Stir the melted chocolate until completely smooth.
- Dip chilled cookies, and sprinkle immediately with the sparkling sugar. Store in a cool dry place in an air-tight container.