Vegan Bats & Vegetarian Cats {2 Naturally Dyed Halloween Icings}

“Just 3 bats and 1 cat,” I plead from my prone position on the couch. It’s after midnight, and I’m asking Mikael to ice some cookies for me.

“The bats are the one’s without egg?”

“Yeah, I want those with the green icing.”

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When I bake, I do 2 versions, one without egg for me, and one with for everyone else. The results generally look identical, so I have to be vigilant about which are which. I’m constantly saying things like “Don’t eat those cookies on the black plate, those are mine, remember?” Or “Did you you move the stuff around on the counter?” cause I really don’t want to eat anything with egg in it. I’m not vegan, but eating eggs gives me a three-day migraine. Yeah.

#eating together made easy

My original plan for this post was for cookies that you could make either vegan or vegetarian, simply by dividing the dough at the end and then adding either an egg or some aquafaba (aka bean water or chickpea liquid). {This actually does work, and I will publish a recipe that uses that method soon.} Yes, that’s my whole #eatingtogethermadeeasy thing.

Since it’s Halloween, I wanted to create a cookie dough that you could roll out and cut into thematically-appropriate shapes, cause who doesn’t love an excuse to eat the head off a bat?

In sum, the grand plan — one delicious cookie recipe, easily made either vegan or vegetarian, shaped into wide-winged bats and arch-backed cats.  Perfect for the blog: eating together made easy — bats and cats all from one starting point!

I decided the bats would be the vegan/egg-free version and the cats the vegetarian  version. That way, there would be no worrying about accidentally eating the wrong cookie.

I also planned on a couple of different icings. Those turned out well and I have the recipes below for an orange (coloured and flavoured) icing, dyed naturally with beetroot powder and turmeric. The ‘poison’ green is peppermint flavoured and dyed with spirulina and turmeric, neither of which you can taste.

Now for the bad news. I haven’t included a cookie recipe in this post. But not because I didn’t spend hours and hours working on one. Unfortunately, in the game of Baking Chemistry versus Sylvia, the final score was 4 to 0.

I wanted a cookie dough that you could easily roll out and cut into Halloween-themed shapes, cause who doesn’t love an excuse to eat the head off a bat?

You’ll recall that I started out wanting a cookie that was easy to cut into shapes.

My first recipe was a win in that aspect, but I used whole wheat flour, which showed up as big flecks in the final result. Note the awesome bat shape — Mikael actually free-styled this. Unfortunately, zoom in and you’ll see that the dough looks like it’s got flour bugs in it.

freeform_bat_IMG_3213

“This is definitely not going to fly on Instagram or Pinterest,” was all I could think. I hate that we’ve all become obsessed with the appearance of food. I’d like to encourage people to cook more and, among other things, I think this constant parade of perfectly-styled plates just makes cooking seem complicated and intimidating. The other huge thing about food styling is that you have to manipulate the food so much to take a good picture that you render it inedible most of the time. I hate wasting food like that.

Moving along.

For attempt #2 in the Baking Chemistry vs Sylvia match, I made the fatal error of adding activated charcoal powder to my chocolate batter, because I wanted BLACK cookies. I really should know better when it comes to charcoal.

Here’s attempt #2:

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Kinda bumpy- looking!!!

They tasted decent but they were just too dry and crumbly. Mikael tried to knit together a black cat with the orange icing. But, the poor kitty could not survive it.

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Attempt #3, I added some fat to the batter in the form of extra coconut oil. And now we’ve swung to the other extreme and the cookies are verging on slippery.

And another day has gone by.

Let’s not even talk about Attempt #4.

Let’s talk about the icing!

The icing is good!

Did I mention that it’s naturally dyed?

You can easily make either of these vegan. Use on your favourite cookies or cupcakes.

Poison Peppermint Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (you could also use margarine, vegan butter, or butter)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • pinch (1/8th of a teaspoon) spirulina
  • pinch (1/8th of a teaspoon) turmeric

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well-combined.
  2. Adjust peppermint to your taste and add more of the spirulina and turmeric to tweak the colour balance.
  3. Use on your favourite cookies or cupcakes.

Orange Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (you could also use coconut oil, margarine, vegan butter) ,
  • 2 tablespoons water or orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange oil, or orange extract (follow instructions on your bottle)
  • 1/2 teaspoon beetroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch (1/8th of a teaspoon) turmeric

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well-combined.
  2. Adjust orange oil/extract to your taste and add more of the beetroot and turmeric to tweak the colour balance.
  3. Use on your favourite cookies or cupcakes.

Happy Halloween!!

Sylvia

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