Orange Vegan Cookies

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Orange Vegan Cookies

Orange Vegan Cookies

My grandmother was not known for her cooking skills. But I still like my toast “well-done”, as the flavor arouses memories of her silly stories and nutty adventures. She answered to Grandma Dorothy or Dirty Dotty, depending on the crowd, and even a normal, boring day with her was memorable. She was wise, witty and plenty of ornery. Giggles turned to belly laughs that left our sides in stitches, our faces streaming with tears, and usually some tinkle to contend with…

She loved and lived without regret. And although she eventually succumbed to Grandma-style sweatshirts, she never got old. She was a stunning beauty with a twinkle in her eyes, even when it was time to move on from this world. I think of her daily, because it is her face that greets me in the morning mirror. And though I can see that age is softening my appearance, I can only smile back at the reflection with gratitude and joy.

She had two signature recipes. Orange cookies, and bourbon slush (which I’ll save for another time!).  And though I used vegan ingredients, they taste just as I remember, especially because I burned the first batch.

Dry ingredients for Orange Vegan Cookies:
2 cups flour of choice (I use gluten free baking mix)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp xantham gum

Wet Ingredients for Orange Vegan Cookies:
2-3 organic oranges
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp orange zest
1 package of vegan sour cream OR
(Add the following to make your own vegan sour cream!)
1/2 block tofu (7-8 oz)
1 tbsp canola oil 
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp yeast flakes

Orange icing glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp vegan butter
1 tsp orange zest (grated rind)
1-2 tbsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set Aside. Cut the oranges in half and squeeze the juice. You need about 1/2 cup, with a tablespoon or 2 leftover for the glaze. Use a fine grater to capture 1 tbsp of orange rind (zest). Add the remaining ingredients and blend. (If you prefer to skip the store bought vegan sour cream, simply add the ingredients in italics–no need to blend separately!)

Mix dry into wet, and blend using a hand mixer. If the batter is too sticky, adding a few tbsp of water and blending will thin the consistency and produce flatter, smoother cookies.

Place dollops on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool.

Directions for icing/glaze: Place sugar and zest into a bowl. Whisk some of the orange juice in, gradually adding more until desired consistency is reached. (Be careful, it’s very easy to get it too runny, requiring more sugar to thicken–it’s a downward cycle! Go slow.)

Dizzle icing onto cool cookies. Enjoy!


I made the decision to become vegan impulsively. I boarded a plane with a ham sandwich and a copy of Alicia Silverstone’s “The Kind Diet”. I devoured the book and tossed the sandwich and I’ve never looked back. Becoming vegan has changed my body, my mind and my spirit, and together, we can change our communities, our nation and our planet. Eating a vegan meal doesn’t require a commitment ceremony, a press release or applause. So don’t over-think it. Just try it…one bite at a time.
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