Baking: Halloween Donut Sugar Cookies

I was looking for a vegan and gluten free cookie recipe with simple ingredients to share with people, and I found a great recipe that doesn’t require chilling the dough. I also found a recipe for cute “donut” sugar cookies that look like the perfect Homer Simpson pink donut, used that as a reference for my own icing recipe, and adapted it to be vegan and fit the Halloween color scheme I wanted. I made half of the batch with regular flour (King Arthur is honestly great and better than generic white flour, I’ve realized), and half with my favorite gluten free 1 to 1 flour.

I took the dough recipe from the first recipe I linked, cut it out into donut shapes using the ring lid of a mason jar and the large end of a jigger from a bar set because it had a nice thin edge (I HATE that word… but I couldn’t find a synonym online, and it’s not the same as a shot glass – let me know if you know a better word), and adapted the frosting recipe from that second link. I’ll share the full recipe below, just skip past the photos! I give these cookies a total 10/10. As someone with beginner baking skills, I definitely made a mess, so here are my tips: clean more counter space than you think you’ll need, have at least one rubber spatula, two spoons, and three mixing bowls ready, lay down plastic wrap or a similar sheet on the surface before flouring your surface to roll out the dough, and use your cooling rack as a surface for icing so that it’ll drip down the sides nicely and not pool at the bottom (put paper towels beneath).

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

-2 sticks or 1 C vegan butter, softened

-1 C white sugar

-4 T Oat milk

-1 T vanilla extract

-2 t baking powder

-3 C flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour is my fave)

For the icing:

-2 C powdered sugar

-1 T vanilla extract

-2-3 drops of food coloring (I used half red and half yellow to make my orange! You can always add more, but definitely just add one at a time.)

-3 T oat milk

-1/4 C potato starch, for thickening, add incrementally as needed

-Sprinkles of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease about two baking sheets.
  2. Use a hand or stand mixer (hello, fellow hand mixer users) to cream the butter and sugar for your cookies.
  3. Once smooth, add the vanilla and milk and stir until just incorporated.
  4. Add the dry ingredients slowly, scraping the sides and mixing until a nice smooth dough forms.
  5. Flour a surface and plop your dough on it. Put a piece of plastic wrap or something equally clean and non-stick on top, then use a rolling pin to get your dough relatively smooth and flat. DO NOT roll it too thin if working with gluten free dough, because it will fall apart. See my photos for reference of a nice thickness.
  6. Remove the top wrap and begin cutting out your donut shapes. As I said above, I used the ring of a mason jar lid and a jigger from a bar set. Place the shapes on your prepared baking sheet. Keep incorporating your leftover donut holes back into the dough and repeat the rolling and cutting process. I chose to make several donut holes because I think they’re cute.
  7. Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes, and no longer than 8 minutes. This was the perfect balance between softness and firmness for me.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Let these cool completely before icing.
  9. Mix the icing ingredients in a bowl. There’s nothing special going on here, just plenty of experimentation. If it’s running too freely off your spoon, add a little more potato starch or powdered sugar to thicken it. If it’s lacking sweetness, add powdered sugar. Trust the process. This icing will set nicely.
  10. Drip your icing over your cookies, letting it run down the sides for a nice glazed donut look. Add the sprinkles before the icing dries. These cookies are lovely and soft, and taste even better after sitting in the fridge overnight.
  11. I hope you make these to enjoy for yourself, and let me know if you have comments, suggestions, or questions!

I’m trying to incorporate more and more of my own recipes on this blog, as I get more confident with my cooking and baking skills. I’ve enjoyed the progress I’ve made, and I especially love talking about cooking with people who read this blog. Thank you for reading this far.

-Hayley

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