Thursday, December 6, 2012

Airy Mexican Wedding Cookies

I'm a pretty predictable person, in an almost mathematical way. Overcast afternoon + pressing deadline for work or school = I will definitely be baking something. Sometimes all I really need is the pressing deadline for work or school. #masterprocrastinator

Some of the omissions in this cookie recipe may make you skeptical. No eggs? Only 2 tbsp. sugar for the entire batch of cookie dough? Add to that the fact that I decided to cut the fat down by substituting applesauce and vegan cream cheese for some of the butter, and it really makes you wonder how it could still end up being a cookie-like creation.

I know. Me too.

But trust me - these are anything but skimpy. They are light and tender and wonderfully full of vanilla, with a lovely little crunch from the pecans. Just be careful when you're eating them, as the powdered sugar may or may not explode all over your clothes when you take a bite. (Some of my friends avoided this quite deftly by just popping the whole thing into their mouth at once. have options.)

And the best part is that these take almost no time to throw together. The dough comes together in a matter of minutes, and they will be melting in your mouth before you know it.

Gluten-free Mexican Wedding Cookies (Adapted from this recipe)
Makes 20 - 24 small cookies

3 tbsp. Earth Balance butter stick
3 tbsp. vegan cream cheese
2 tbsp. smooth applesauce
2 tbsp. white sugar
1.5 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup gluten-free flour blend
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the Earth Balance, vegan cream cheese, and applesauce with an electric mixer. Add in the 2 tbsp. white sugar and vanilla and continue to blend until all ingredients are creamed.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in stages to the cookie dough batter, mixing each bit in with the electric mixer. By hand, stir in the chopped pecans.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the parchment paper. Bake at 300 F for about 15 - 18 minutes, or just until the bottoms are browned and they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let sit on the cookie sheet for 2 - 3 minutes, then roll each one in powdered sugar while still warm and place on a cooling rack. Once cooled, roll in powdered sugar once more time. Store in an airtight container with layers separated with waxed paper so they don't stick together.