Vegan Cranberry Thumbprints

The above photo is my camera phone documentation of the plate of cookies I took to work. This was taken around 10 AM. Seriously addictive, folks.

I’d never been a fan of cranberry sauce that is until I started making my own. If you have ever made jam before, cranberry sauce is much like making jam, and just as easy to can. With fresh cranberries readily available, now is the perfect time for stockpiling this tart treat.

*1 pound cranberries (fresh is best!)
*1 cup orange juice (I prefer a sweeter orange juice, splurge for the good stuff, it really makes a difference)
*1 cup sugar

Rinse and sort the berries, toss in the compost the ones that are too soft, bruised and generally unappealing.
Dissolve the sugar in the o.j., careful not to burn it. Stir often and keep your eye on it!
Once the sugar is dissolved, add the clean berries, turn the heat up to a soft boil. Keep stirring and be careful not to let it burn! (Can I say this enough?) I like to mush the berries after they pop, if you leave whole berries you will have a tiny little burst of cranberry goodness in each bite.
Lower the temp and cook until the sauce thickens a bit. It will thicken even more in the fridge, so keep that in mind. At this point let it cool and enjoy!

Even better:
Make shortbread thumbprint cookies (adapted from this recipe) and add a dollop of your new favorite cranberry sauce recipe for a slightly sweet, slightly tart cookie with a hint of orange. Absolutely delicious!

*1 1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature (vegan margarine, butter if want the nonvegan equivalent)
*1 cup sugar3 cups flour
*1 Tablespoon vanilla
*Egg Replacer equivalent of 4 eggs (6 t powder, 8 t warm water)
*3 additional tablespoons warm water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Beat the margarine in with the sugar. Once this is thoroughly mixed, add the remaining ingredients, except for the warm water. Mix and mix and mix. If your mixture is still too powdery add 1/2 T of warm water at a time until the dough is barely moist. Form dough into little balls about 1 1/2 inches diameter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (with the copious amount of margarine included, no additional grease is needed unless you want blackened shortbread cookies) and poke the center with your thumb to create a little divot to fill with yummy cranberry goodness once the cookies are cooled. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool, fill your thumbprint with cranberry sauce. Enjoy!

Bake them in small batches, that way if the first batch spreads too much you can add a tad more flour, you’ll also learn on the first batch how much cooking time yours will need.

Originally published on You Grow Girl.

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