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Baking for a vegan….?

September 20, 2009

One of my new colleagues is an almost true vegan (I say this because she apparently eats honey taking her out of the ‘true’ category) so I’m moving into a whole new world of baking. And, I find it intriguing!

I’d already been introduced to the idea of cooking with olive oil as a butter substitute in the past. Not always successfully of course, but I’d given it a go. And, I knew of the existence of “egg substitutes” but never used them myself because when the Husband couldn’t eat egg, he also couldn’t use the substitute due to ingredients in it he was also meant to avoid (thank goodness we’re over that!) but only recently had I been introduced to the idea of Flaxseed meal as an egg substitute!

To replace one egg:
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons water (or other liquid)
Stir together until thick and gelatinous

So the challenge was set – I just had to give it a go! I served these dusted with icing sugar.

Lemony Polenta Cookies

280g plain flour
180g polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup + 4 tablespoons olive oil
100g icing sugar + 120g caster sugar
2T flaxseed meal + 6T soy milk
juice & zest of one lemon
3T limonccello
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk flour, polenta, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a bowl.
Mix together oil and sugar. Beat in the flaxseed mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Continue to add the lemon zest, juice, limoncello and vanilla, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl down.
Beat in the dry ingredients until a very soft dough is formed. Scrape out onto a sheet of cling wrap, flatten into a disc, wrap and chill for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Lightly grease two baking sheets, line with baking parchment
Break off teaspoon-sized bits of dough and roll them into balls about an inch in diameter. Roll each in a small bowl of sugar and place on the tray. Make sure to space them an inch apart as they’ll spread
Bake for 14-15 minutes until they’ve flattened out and are crinkly on top. Cool on the sheet for 2 minute and then use a spatula to transfer to a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from A Spoonful of Sugar

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