December 8, 2009

Vegan Hanukkah Desserts

Butter Cookie Dreidels
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour lightly sprinkled into measuring cup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chilled vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 egg substitute

Preheat the oven to 350° F, with racks in the middle and lower third of the oven. Have two nonstick cookie sheets available.

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor bowl. Process for a few seconds to mix the dry ingredients.

Cut the butter into 1/2-inch chunks and scatter on top of the flour. Pulse-process until the butter is cut into the flour so that the mixture looks like coarse meal.

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla extract, water, and egg. Whisk lightly to blend. With the processor running, add the egg mixture through the feed tube. Continue to process until the dough just starts to clump together. If the dough is too dry to come together, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. The dough won't ball up in the bowl, but it should start to clump, and should come into a ball with the heat of your hands as you push it together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough (I like to roll in a floured jumbo zip top bag) to a scant 1/8 inch thick. Cut with a dreidel-shaped cookie cutter, and place on the cookie sheets. Bake for 5 minutes, switch the cookie sheets top to bottom, and bake another 4 to 7 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove the cookies from the pan, and cool them on a wire rack.

For the icing, sift the powdered sugar Into a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk and vanilla until smooth. The icing should be very thick but thin enough to spread. If it is not thin enough, add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoonful until the icing is the right consistency. Spread the cookies with icing (a small decorating spatula works best). If you are going to use sprinkles, sprinkle them on while the icing is still wet so they will stick well. If not using sprinkles, let the icing dry. Add color to the remaining icing (I like to use a rich blue) and paint on the dreidel letters using a fine artist's brush. For a great-looking accent, sprinkle small, fine sprinkles, such as multicolored tiny balls, on the wet lettering (larger sprinkles, such as chocolate sticks, will obscure the letters). If you prefer, the dreidel letters can be painted on un-iced cookies. In all cases, let the decorations dry before storing the cookies.

3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup vegan margarine
1/8 cup vanilla plant milk, or water
food coloring, if want color

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend until creamy.

Cookies can be made 1 day ahead, or frozen for up to 3 months. Makes about 50 cookies

Chanukah-Shaped Cookies
1 cup vegan butter
2 egg substitutes
2 tablespoons orange juice, with no VD3
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Chanukah cookie cutters (shaped like menorah, dreidel, candle)
Sprinkles (optional)

Mix ingredients well. Wrap in wax paper and chill for at least an hour. Roll out dough until 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Cut with Chanukah cookie cutters. Decorate with sprinkles (optional). Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 450° F for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Gelt Fudge
3 cups vegan chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed plant milk or vegan original creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegan butter

Combine chocolate chips and condensed milk in bowl and heat in microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. If more time is required, continue heating in microwave in increments of 10 seconds. Add vanilla and salt and stir. Spread into a dish lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Cut fudge into desired shapes and wrap in foil. Refrigerate fudge until ready to eat.

Vanilla Cream Sufganiyot
1 1/4-oz. envelope dry baker's yeast
1/8 cup warm water
3/4 cup lukewarm vanilla plant milk
3/8 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg substitute
3 Tbsp. vegan butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided
4 cups canola oil
1 cup vegan heavy whipping cream
1/4 package instant vegan vanilla pudding powder
Powdered sugar
Sprinkle yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Combine yeast mixture, soy milk, granulated sugar salt egg margaine, and 1 cup of flour and mix for about 3 minutes with an electric mixer at low speed.

Beat in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough no longer sticks to bowl. Place dough on floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hours.

Turn dough onto floured surface and gently roll out to 1/2-inches thickness. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter. Let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.

In a large pot, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully place doughnuts in the hot oil. Turn over when first side is medium golden brown, about 4 minutes. Make sure oil is not too hot; otherwise will cook before the inside is done. Allow to cool.

In a cold bowl, beat whipping cream until not completely until not completely stiff. Sprinkle in pudding powder and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fill doughnuts with 1-2 Tbsp. of the mixture by cutting a small slit in the side and inserting the cream with a baby spoon. Sprinkle with sifted powered sugar.

2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm plant milk
2 packages dry yeast
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
oil (for frying)

1 cup honey substitute
1/4 cup water
finely chopped walnuts (optional)
sesame seed, toasted (optional)

1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.
2. Put it along with the remaining dough ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well until a smooth batter is obtained.
3. Cover and let the batter rise in a warm place until it is approximately three times its previous bulk, (1-2 hours).
4. Heat the oil for frying in a saucepan on the stove until very hot.
5. Dip a teaspoon into oil to coat and spoon out some dough into the hot oil.
6. Repeat until there are enough fritters to comfortably fill the surface area of the saucepan, without overcrowding.
7. Dip the spoon in oil, every time the dough starts to stick on it.
8. Fry loukoumades in very hot oil until golden brown, pushing them into the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a serving dish lined with kitchen paper for them to drain.
9. Keep making more fritters in this way.
10. When done, put them on a large platter and pour hot honey syrup over them and lightly dust with cinnamon.
11. Sprinkle them with chopped walnuts and sesame seeds.
12. Serve immediately.
13. To make honey syrup.
14. Heat honey and water in a small saucepan and skim off any froth that may form on top.
15. Boil for 5 minutes together and pour over fritters

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