It’s that time of year again——-sugar cookie time! I’ve been itching to make these all week. I love me some good ol’ fashioned sugar cookies and what are the holidays without cookies? Honestly people!
These sugar cookies are everything you could possibly want in a sugar cookie. They are super sweet (of course), but they also have slight hints of almond and vanilla bean throughout them that just makes them taste that much better. In addition to being sweet and flavourful, they are also perfectly soft in texture.
The colour of these cookies is slightly on the browner side, rather than beige. I believe it is due to the coconut sugar that is used in place of white sugar. They almost look like little gingerbread cookies, but they aren’t. They are BETTER!
Natural Food Colouring
I love making these kinds of cookies because of all the darling little shapes you can create. The little trees & snowflakes are just so gosh, darn cute! Going into making these, I knew that I wanted to create a coloured frosting for some of the cookies, but I didn’t want to use conventional food colouring since it is filled with so many nasty ingredients. I would’ve liked to have used a more red colour, but we are sort of limited in nature in terms of which colours are available. We must work with what we have!
I opted for using beet crystals instead to provide the pinkish colour. Beet crystals come from freshly harvested beet juice. These beet crystals will pretty much turn anything they touch pink, so be careful! If you can’t find beet crystals, you could also use beet root powder, and I think it would work just the same. The beet crystals can be found here.
I love using beet crystals for their colour. They’re also great mixed into smoothies, yogurt, or even into some water. Beets are great at providing oxygen to your heart and help to cleanse the blood. These cookies are definitely more on the indulgent side. I tried to sneak in a bit of healthy-ish ingredients wherever I could.
Additionally, I used spinach powder to create the green frosting. You might wonder whether your cookies will taste like spinach. There is a slight taste but it is so minor that you can barely notice it amidst all the sugar. So, don’t be alarmed by it! Of course, you can omit the colourings altogether if you’d like to avoid any disruption in the flavours. I really wanted my cookies to be festive looking, and colourful without using food colouring, so I made the small sacrifice.
I am really happy with the way these turned out. They are definitely SWEET, and are meant to be enjoyed as a treat. I feel that these cookies would be a fun afternoon activity to make with your family members/children. I hope you enjoy making them/eating them as much as I did!
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies with Maple Buttercream Icing
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- dash of sea salt
- 1 cup coconut sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
Maple Buttercream Icing
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 cup salted, grass-fed butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2-4 tbsp coconut cream
- beet crystals/beet root powder, for pink colour
- spinach powder, for green colour
- coarse sugar & coconut flakes for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and baking powder, then add the sea salt.
- In a food processor (or KitchenAid mixer), combine the coconut sugar, egg, vanilla extract, vanilla bean almond extract, and unsalted butter. Pulse until combined. The batter should be starting to come together at this point.
- Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the food processor while it is working until the dough ball forms.
- Once you have your dough, divide it into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- While the dough is cooling, make the buttercream icing. Start by creaming together the icing sugar and butter.
- Then add the vanilla extract, vanilla bean and maple syrup. Add the coconut cream.
- At this point you can create your natural food colourings (if you like) by putting a bit of the icing into two seperate small mixing bowls. Add 1/2 tsp of spinach powder to one mixing bowl and 1/2 tsp of beet crystals (or beet powder) to the other mixing bowl. Stir each until the desired colour is achieved.
- Set aside the icing and remove the dough from the fridge.
- 10. Pat the dough with your rolling pin to start flattening it out a bit before rolling it out onto a floured surface.
- 11. Roll your dough out into 1/4 inch thickness, and then place your cookie cutters into the dough to achieve your shapes.
- 12. Work through the entirety of the dough until you have all your cookies cut out.
- 13. Place cookies on lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes.
- 14. When cookies are done, place on cooling rack for 5 minutes or so. Once cookies are completely cooled, start adding your buttercream frosting and decorations!
- 15. Enjoy with some tea!