Hmm…












That’s a tough one…











Wait, I have an idea! Bake a vegan cookie dough, cut out pig shapes, and ice with pink vegan icing! Ding ding ding! Edible vegan pigs!

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I have a few vegan friends that I like cooking for, but I also like exploring vegan cooking and baking because it helps me learn what are truly vegetarian and vegan products. And, some of the most amazing food I’ve cooked is vegan, full of fresh vegetables and herbs, so I also enjoy demystifying what “vegan food” suggests, i.e., “wow, that can’t be good if it’s vegan.” Vegan baking is still challenging to me, because I am so used to everything having at least an egg, possibly some butter or milk.

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a gingerbread cookie recipe that my mom always uses and realized that it was already vegan. No eggs and using shortening for the fat. I changed the icing recipe that I commonly use by replacing the butter with margarine and the milk with soy milk. The red dye is vegan as well (most red dyes no longer use beetle shells, like a lot of people mistakenly think). I just made them the other day for an Etsy order. The recipe follows:

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice

Cream shortening and sugar. Blend in the rest of ingredients and chill for 2 hours. Roll out to 1/4 inch, and cut with cookie cutters. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees and bake about 10 minutes.

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I like a softer gingerbread cookie, so I don’t let mine brown too much. These puff up really nicely. Now for the icing…

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp soy milk
red food coloring

Mix sugar and margarine together with mixer or by hand. Stir in vanilla, milk, and about 3-4 drops of food coloring. You may need more or less, depending on the shade of pink you want.

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Apply a thin layer to the cooled cookies and you’re done! Oink oink, I’m a vegan pig!

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