Snickerdoodles! But not just any old snickerdoodles (can we just say that word again? Snickerdoodles!): chai-spiced-vegan-snickerdoodles!
Every now and then I like to bake some biscuits or slice or something for my yoga classmates. I should do it more often, because they pounce on these post-class treats, and then shower me with lovely compliments. What cook can resist that?
But the last time I took biscuits to class, I realised the lovely C would miss out, because she is vegan and my biscuits (the ginger biscuits, I think) were made with butter. I apologised for not being more thoughtful, but C brushed that aside and beamed — she said it made her happy to see I’d brought biscuits for everyone else! If that’s not a blissful attitude, I don’t know what is.
But C’s happiness threw down a challenge. How hard could it be to find some delicious biscuits that were egg and dairy free? I didn’t want anything with weirdy ingredients; I’ve seen vegan recipes with stuff that looks more suited to a pharmacy lab than a kitchen. With a lot of people giving up dairy and eggs these days, for all sorts of reasons, I didn’t think it would be too difficult a task.
And it wasn’t. I found a book by Isa Chandra Moskowitz in the library, with pages of delicious and colourful looking foods. Including the recipe for chai-spiced-vegan-snickerdoodles — what a mouthful; let’s just call them snickerdoodles (snickerdoodles!).
And you know what? Nothing weirdy about these. Actually, the most unusual ingredient was cardamom, because it’s not a spice I use often. I may put a pinch in with stewing apples occasionally; it’s an intriguing taste that reminds me of dried eucalyptus leaves! So because it’s unfamiliar to me, cardamom is the flavour I detected most; but after yoga, P asked ‘mmm, have these got ginger in them?’ and I thought someone else said ‘oooh, cinnamon!’. Mostly though, to my relief, I heard lots of ‘delicious, thank you!’ and I saw C beam her gorgeous smile as she went back for a second biscuit.
Chai-spiced-vegan-snickerdoodlesAdapted from ‘Isa does it: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week’.
- Preheat your oven to 180 and prep a couple of baking trays.
- Mix together the sugary topping in a small cereal plate: 1/4 cup vanilla sugar with at least ¼ tspn each of ground cardamom, ginger and cinnamon, and a pinch of mixed spice. You may like a bit more spice (I may have accidently put in ½ tspn of cinnamon; I was momentarily confused by measuring spoons on the kitchen bench). Set aside.
- Now, take a cup measure and put in 1 tbspn light brown sugar, then top it up with white sugar. Pop this in a mixing bowl, add ½ cup light olive oil, ¼ cup golden syrup, 3 tbspns soy milk, and 1 tspn vanilla. Whisk together until, as Isa says, it looks like applesauce (it does!).
- Sift and fold into this 2 cups plain flour, 1 tspn baking soda, half a ¼ tspn salt, and ½ tspn cinnamon.
- Take walnut-sized spoonfuls, roll into balls, flatten slightly in your hands, and pat one side of the biscuit into the spicy sugar. Place sugar-side up on baking trays, flatten a little more with a fork.
- Bake biscuits for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on trays for a few minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.