My vegan cookie version of Aunt Minnie’s Cookies is perfect for the holidays but the original recipe yields a lot of cookies. Ideal for a cookie swap, but if you are looking for a smaller batch, give this vegan version of a classic thumbprint cookie a try.
I grew up an only child, but when my extended family was fully extended — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, “in-laws and outlaws,” as my father put it, we’d be upwards of 20. Add to that the visiting friend or second cousin twice removed I never knew I had, and of course, we made Thanksgiving stuffing for 30, and a hundred holiday cookies — because who eats one cookie?
This classic butter thumbprint cookie recipe came from my great-great-great-great grand aunt Minnie, the family’s famed baker. Making a batch meant spending a sweet-smelling afternoon in my grandmother’s kitchen, with my grandmother and mother, my tiny fingers the perfect size to create the well in the cookies where the jam would go. Minnie’s original recipe calls for a pound of butter and a couple of eggs. Thanks to high-performing vegan butter like Miyoko’s (now with its own streaming YouTube channel), and aquafaba,* making them vegan cookies was easy and the result is as delicious as Minnie’s original.
But when I shared this recipe with its original proportions for a vegan baking class, a student asked if there was a way to make, um, fewer of them. Less was not more in my family. More was more and sometimes even more was not enough. But times change — wow, do they ever. So I’ve scaled down the recipe to a more manageable two dozen.
Whether I make a full batch or just a couple of dozen, making these cookies is one of my favorite holiday traditions. Do you have a favorite holiday cookie? I’d love to post. Let’s share!
Make a lot or make just a couple dozen, may you have a sweet holiday and sweet holiday cookies.
Minnie’s Cookies: The Vegan Edition (Small Batch Edition)
- ⅔ cup evaporated cane sugar
- ¼ pound vegan butter 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon scant - vanilla
- 2 tablespoons aquafaba*
- ¼ cup Jam — rasperry, apricot, or your favorite approximately
- powdered sugar to finish
- Whizz evaporated cane sugar in a food processor for a minute to lighten.
- In the food processor or a standing mixer, combine vegan butter and process for a minute or two, until pale, light, and fluffy.
- Add aquafaba and vanilla, and gently, slowly mix in the flour. Resist the urge to overbeat. Once everything comes together, boom, you’re done.
- Wrap dough well. Chill in the refrigerator for two hours or up to two days. Don’t skip this step. Alternately, you may freeze dough for up to several months.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment or a Silpat.
- Pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough. Roll into a ball and place on baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough, placing the balls 2 inches apart.
- Create a small well at the center of each cookie. I use my pinkie finger, or sometimes, the tip of a spoon handle.
- With patience, add just a dab of jam, enough to fill the indentation, but no more. This is one instance in which being overgenerous does not end well, resulting in sloppy-looking product.
- Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until your kitchen is perfumed with the scent of butter and sugar. Cookies will be pale and soft, but will firm up as they cool.
- Dust liberally with powdered sugar.