Football Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Football Cut Out Cookies

It’s been an exciting, touchdown-filled month for the sales team at my company. For the month of November the other two sales managers and I organized a football/Thanksgiving themed contest across the entire sales department. While there are two football teams, each member contributes individually to their overall team score by the number of yards they gain based on their own sales achievements.

Both groups came up with a team name; The Dee Stroyers (the red and white team) and The Butterballs (green and yellow team). We (the managers) decorated our area and cubes to get everyone in the spirit and created a score board that’s hung up on the wall so everyone knows exactly who’s kicking ass and who needs to be kicked in the ass. 😛  Everyone’s eligible for weekly cash prizes and the MVP for each team will get a PTO day. Who doesn’t love cash and vacations, right?!

Football Cut Out Cookies

In light of the contest and because the holidays always inspire me to bake copious amounts of cookies, I baked football themed cookies for the team this past weekend and made sure to create a jersey for each teammate (12 team members total) with their initials on it.

Despite my mind harboring intense guilt for not spending time playing outside on a sunny, 75 degree day and instead toiling the afternoon away decorating cookies, it was so worth it. Not only was I happy with the results, but I’m also happy to honor the team with some of my own energy and effort considering how much they’ve put in this month.

I’ve actually been making these cut-out sugar cookies at least once a year and realized that I’ve never shared the recipe on my blog so figured that it’s about high time I do so here it goes:

You’ll first want to take your Earth Balance, cream it, then add the granulated sugar and mix it well.

Then put the egg replacer and water in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. This does take a few minutes, so be patient.

Add the vanilla extract and egg replacer to the batter and mix well.

Add flour, baking soda, and salt and sift it together into the batter.

Mix the dough well and then portion it into four even balls and cover with plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours or overnight.

After the dough has chilled, grab your rolling pin and, if you have a 1/4-inch spacer ring, place it on either end of your pin. If you don’t have one, it’s not the least bit necessary—just try to roll out the dough to roughly 1/4-inch think or more. I would not roll it out thinner as thicker cookies are essential for tastiness. To start, place the dough between two sheets of wax paper and start to smush it down with your hands. It will start to soften and become more pliable; then take the rolling pin to it.

Place the cookie cutters over the dough and press down, trying to maximize your cookie-packing pattern so that you don’t have to roll it out as many times. Ever so carefully peel the cut-outs from the wax paper and place them on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Cookie Cut Outs Pre Baked

Place the cookie sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes or until the bottoms are just barely starting to brown. I prefer under-baked to over-baked sugar cookies.

After you’ve rolled out and baked all of the cookies, you’re ready to begin making the icing. To do this, place 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar in a bowl, add the non-dairy milk and vanilla. Stir well until you achieve a drippy (but not too runny) consistency, like you see in the photo above on the right.

Portion the icing into as many bowls as colors you’re planning to use and then add your food coloring and mix well.

Frost the cookies and enjoy! And one quick tip—if you plan to layer the colors on top of each other like I did, I recommend waiting for the first color to completely harden before adding another, otherwise you risk the colors running together (unless you’re going to swirl them to create interesting patters).

Football Cut Out Cookies

Vegan Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

(I made alot of cookies since we have a lot of employees, but if you’re just making it for a small family, I’d cut this recipe in half… unless, of course, you enjoy having copious amounts of cookies around to enjoy during the holidays.)

Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups Earth Balance
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 egg replacer eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 cups white baking flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons (or more) non-dairy milk (I used vanilla unsweetened almond)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl cream Earth Balance and sugar. Add egg replacer and vanilla and mix well.

Add Dry Ingredients: Add sifted flour, salt, and baking powder. Combine to form the dough.

Prepare Dough: Section the dough into 4 even balls, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Cut Out Cookies: Roll the dough to a desired thickness (but don’t go thinner than 1/4 inch) and use cookie cutters to form shapes.

Bake: Place the cookies on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes or until they start to brown slightly. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Frosting: Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Add more milk for a thinner consistency and less for a thicker, frosting-like consistency. Portion out the icing into as many bowls as colors you wish to use and add food coloring.

Assemble: Frost your cookies and enjoy!

Football Jersey Cut Out Sugar Cookies

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GMO-Free Corn Millet Cakes with Basil Avocado Salsa

Organic Corn Millet Cakes with Corn Avocado Salsa

While there were so many awesome victories at the ballot box last Tuesday (go Maine, Maryland, and Washington!!), there is one loss that I’m absolutely heartbroken about. All week long my heart has been sinking in sadness, my pulse has been fired up in anger, and my brain has been struggling to sort out how Proposition 37 did not pass.

Organic Corn Millet Cakes with Corn Avocado Salsa

Prop 37 would have simply mandated the labeling of foods containing Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMO’s) in the exact same way that we all are able to currently enjoy the mandatory labeling of nutrition facts and allergen information on packaged goods. I don’t know about you, but I love being able to see exactly what is in the food I’m purchasing. It allows me, not only as a consumer, but more importantly as a person fueling my body, to make informed decisions. I just can’t wrap my head around why anyone would vote against a proposition where the outcome merely allows them to make more-informed choices. Why would anyone choose ignorance?

It’s particularly embarrassing knowing that 51 other countries all over the world—including Japan, all of the EU, Russia, and even China—require GMO labeling on packaged goods. Why does it always feel like the US is the last country to make smart, forward-thinking decisions?

Corn Millet Basil Cakes with Corn Avocado Salsa
And then I have to remember that Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, and many other chemical companies spent over 1 million dollars a day on misinformational advertising campaigns confusing the public. It really just confirms how much our country is run by media, advertising, and corporations because, prior to their huge ad push, the polls were showing a large majority voting in favor of Prop 37.

While I feel this sense of dread pulsing through my body in these moments following defeat, I know that I need to find ways to cultivate these uncomfortable feelings into something constructive. This makes me realize I need to do more of my part at educating the public on issues like this.

Corn Millet Cakes with Corn Avocado Salsa

These GMO-free corn millet cakes are my salute to all of the hard work that went into getting Prop 37 on the ballot this year. I chose corn as my focus because up to 85% of all corn grown in the US is genetically engineered making it one of the most prevalent GMO crops in the country, and until companies start labeling GMO ingredients, the only way to be sure you’re not buying GMO corn is to buy organic corn.

Millet Cake Ingredients

When you see the ingredients above you realize just how easy these millet cakes are to put together.

First, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and then add your diced onions. Sauté them for about 10 minutes or until translucent and just starting to brown. Meanwhile, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot and then add the salt, a tablespoon of oil, and millet. Then, while stirring with a wire whisk, slowly add the corn grits. Simmer on medium-low heat uncovered for 25 minutes or until all water has been absorbed and the millet is sticky like the above-right photo.

Add the sautéed onions, corn kernels, and basil to the millet mixture and stir well.

Using a measuring cup, cookie scoop, or any other shape you want to make your cakes, form them and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Tip: I always dip my measuring cup in an ice cold bowl of water between forming each cake. It helps to keep the cakes from sticking to the scoop.

Corn Millet Basil Cakes

After forming all of your cakes, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until slightly crisp and golden on the outside.

While the cakes are baking, put together the salsa by peeling, deseeding, and chopping your cucumbers.
Organic Corn Avocado Salsa

Chop your red onion and slice the grape tomatoes.

Prep your  avocados by running your knife down the inside lengthwise and then doing the same thing crosswise to create little squares in the avocado.

Add your sliced tomatoes to the bowl and then scoop the avocado out of it’s shell.

Squeeze the lime and press the garlic into the bowl.

Mixing Corn Avocado Salsa

Lastly, add the tomatoes, chopped basil, and salt to taste and then mix it until well-combined. Place the millet cakes on a plate with a heaping dollop of salsa on top.Corn Millet Cakes with Corn Avocado Basil Salsa

GMO-Free Corn Millet Cakes with Basil Avocado Salsa

Corn Millet Cakes

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup millet, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup organic corn grits (polenta)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn, thawed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons basil, chopped

Basil Avocado Salsa

  • 2 medium avocados, chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 heaping cup sliced grape tomatoes (about 40 grape tomatoes)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté Onions: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and then add your diced onions. Sauté them for about 10 minutes or until translucent and just starting to brown.

Cook Millet: Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the salt, a tablespoon of oil, and the millet. Then, while stirring with a wire whisk, slowly add the corn grits whisking out any lumps as they form. Whisk well then simmer on medium-low heat uncovered for 25 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the millet is sticky. Stir occassionally as the millet and corn grits cook to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As the end of cooking time nears you’ll want to stir more frequently.

Form Cakes and Bake: Add the sautéed onions, corn kernels, and basil to the millet mixture and stir well. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (this is what I used), cookie scoop, or any other shape you want to make your cakes, form them and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Keep a bowl of ice-cold water nearby and dip your measuring cup in it between forming each cake. I’ve found that this help to prevent the millet from sticking to the cup.

Mix Salsa: Place all ingredients (except salt) into a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt, to taste, and stir again.

Serve: Place the millet cakes on a plate with a heaping dollop of salsa on top and serve warm as an appetizer. Enjoy!

GMO-Free Corn Millet Cakes with Corn Avocado Salsa