Mini foods are just more fun, aren’t they?
It’s almost time to call it a year, but before we do I think there should be a few more cookies for good measure. You know, because those new year’s resolution diets aren’t gonna be very friendly with the cookies. And this year we’re all going to stick to it and not fall off the wagon right?….uh huh, yep, ’cause that’s totally gonna happen. Hey, it’s the thought that counts.
In all seriousness though, I do have plans to make this year more focused on making foods that are packed with nutrition and that use all whole ingredients, but I can’t deny the fact that I have memory of falling into the trap of resolution failure more than once in my life. Maybe reverse psychology is a better way to go this time around.
Oh, and speaking of memories, am I the only one that seems to have rose-colored childhood food memories? I mean, I know that I’m repeating myself. Plus, I’m pretty sure that in most cases my memory is way over exaggerated, but it’s easy to forget this and get stuck craving an old favorite treat and wanting it to taste exactly like it used to.
I recently remembered this one food memory that stood out in particular, gem cookies. My mom had this friend who would bring her these delicious little bite-size cookies from a local bakery near her house and every time I saw that familiar white paper bag with the pink letters I would get so excited because I knew they were those cookies.
I wanted to do my best to recreate the specific flavor of these little sweets because they were so good! They weren’t your typical dry, crusty frosted shortbreads, they were melt-in-your mouth buttery and had the perfect ratio of frosting to cookie. Plus, the itty-bittyness of them made them perfect for popping into your mouth one right after another. So addictive.
Something else that was kind of unique to said cookies was the icing that was tall and buttery, yet it didn’t smash when you piled the cookies into a bag. I’ve never made a frosting with all of these characteristics but I was determined to find one. I knew that it would need to be thick and pipe-able like buttercream. My final result seemed pretty close to what I was going for so I’m pretty happy with it.
I actually made these weeks ago, but I had so many recipes that I wanted to post for Christmas that I thought I’d push these back a bit and save them for New Year’s. Seeing them all clustered together kind of reminds me of fireworks so I thought they would be fitting. The fun thing about them is that you can make them any color you want so they are the perfect little treat to share with friends and family all year long. Just think how cute pastels would be for Easter or red white and blue for summer!
And of course, if you don’t feel like taking the time to make them so small, feel free to make them as big as you’d like. I don’t have a cookie cutter the size that I wanted so I used the back of a piping tip and it worked really well to get the tiny circles (except for the few the wanted to get stuck, but you just have to push them out with a toothpick). I can be a bit persistent when I set my mind on an idea #Obsessive Much.
However you want to do them is up to you. I just really hope you love them!
Tiny Frosted Gem Butter Cookies (Vegan)
Sometimes the best things come in the smallest packages and these little bites of sweet goodness certainly prove it! These are perfect for birthdays and tea parties all year long!
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or vegan butter, softened
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut cream *see note
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup aquafaba liquid from a can of garbanzo beans
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract use clear vanilla if you want a pure white icing
- dash of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional
- A few drops of natural food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper or silpads. Combine oil, coconut cream, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamed. Add the almond, vanilla, and salt and beat until mixed. Add in the flour a cup at a time until evenly combined but don't overmix.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and use a 1-inch round cookie cutter or any tool you have for making tiny circles (about 3/4 inch). For example, I used the back of an extra large pastry tip.) Place them about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart on tray and bake for 6 - 8 minutes, watching carefully until edges start to brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before adding icing.
Add the aquafaba to the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn mixer to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form. Turn speed to lowest setting and add vanilla, salt, and almond until incorporated, then slowly start adding the powdered sugar. Mix until evenly combined then add the coconut oil (or shorteninand turn speed back up to high and whip for at least 3 minutes until it's light and fluffy. Divide the frosting into as many bowls as the colors you want and mix in food coloring last.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip, or desired tip, with the icing and pipe little stars on each cookie. Allow them to sit out until the frosting hardens or you'll squish it. Once dry, store in an air-tight container.
If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.