Vegan pumpkin spice cookies

The kids are out and about, hopefully not terrifying the neighbours too much with their Halloween antics, so I’m home alone – answering the door to a steady flow of creepy (and quite cute) trick or treaters.

I think I got the better deal. It’s a chilly night and has just started to drizzle, while I’m sat here, warm and cosy with a big mug of tea and a couple of these delicious pumpkin spice cookies. My oldest baked them today to take over to her Halloween sleepover. Her friend’s mum is vegan and she was keen to make them dairy-free so everyone could enjoy them. I’m sure they will!

Vegan pumpkin spice cookies

Makes around 15

175g plain flour
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
60g vegan spread or margarine
90g demerara sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp golden syrup (plus a little more for fixing the icing in place)
250g orange ready to roll icing
coloured writing icing (we used black, green and red)
icing sugar (for dusting)

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and stir in the spices and baking powder.

Add the margarine in small chunks and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Then stir in the demerara sugar.

In another bowk, mix the oil and golden syrup together. Gradually stir this into the rest of the mixture, then use your hands to bring it all together to form a dough. Knead until smooth.

Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 170ºC / gas mark 3. Grease and line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Flour your surface, and then roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut out pumpkin shapes.

Transfer to the lined baking trays and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. After a few minutes, transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before decorating.

Dust your surface and rolling pin with a little icing sugar, and roll out the orange icing until it’s as thin as you can get it. Cut out pumpkin shapes, slightly smaller than the cookies. Fix into place by brushing with a little golden syrup. Draw on your pumpkin faces and little green stalks with the coloured writing icing, and leave to dry for half an hour or so.

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