Vegan Sugar Cookies with Orange Curd & Blueberries

If you eat a plant-based diet or try to live dairy-free, sugar cookies can be a challenging recipe to conquer. This recipe requires a smidge of finesse, but it well worth it!

Last summer, I made some pretty good sugar cookies -- which accidentally looked like nostalgic iced animal cookies (but I made iced animal cookies too!). I'll let you in on a secret: these cookies taste even better!

The trick to these cookies is the consistency (and coldness) of your dough. Throughout the recipe, if you're ever in doubt about whether your dough is too mushy, pop it in the fridge.

These cookies are so stinkin' cute for Independence Day. I made a variation of my lemon curd -- and made a KICK-BUTT orange curd. Seriously. It makes these cookies the stars of any show. I added a teaspoon or two of beet powder to naturally dye the curd red. They look perfect for the 4th of July.  I'm planning to make some special scones for my leftover orange curd too.

Vegan Sugar Cookies with Orange Curd & Blueberries
Adapted from Yummy Mummy Kitchen

1 1/2 c. vegan powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum brand, softened
1/4 c. orange-infused vodka (learn more about infusing your own vodka!)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. organic white flour
2 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp. cream of tartar

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and tartar.  Mix well and set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, cream the shortening and powdered sugar.  Add the vanilla and vodka.  Mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Slowly add the dry ingredients.

This is where the finesse kicks in: if the dough seems too soft, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

In between two pieces of floured parchment paper, roll out half of the cookie dough.  Carefully remove the top layer of parchment and cut out your desired shapes.  (if your dough is too soft, you may have to peel around the parchment to get your shapes.) Pop them into the fridge for 20 minutes.  (This will prevent your cookies from becoming amoeba blobs.)

Preheat your oven to 375°.   Once they have chilled, bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes.  Repeat this process until the dough is used.

Vegan Lemon Curd
Adapted from Desserts with Benefits

1⁄2 c. almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
1⁄2 c. fresh orange juice
1 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1⁄2 c. organic cane sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1⁄4 c. orange-infused vodka (learn more about infusing your own liquor!), or water
1⁄4 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum 
2 teaspoons of orange zest
a pinch of Activz Beet Powder, for natural red color

For the Orange Curd
In a small saucepan, combine first 5 ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer; simmer the curd for about 7-8 minutes and then add the vodka. Stir the curd regularly for another 3-5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the shortening and zest (and beet powder) until everything is smooth. The mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

Assemble these cookies by putting a dollop of orange curd on your cookies. Add some fresh blueberries and you have a patriotic -- and adorable --dessert on your hands.