Grandma Stonebrook’s Sugar Cookies

My family is a family of bakers, so I can’t imagine a celebration without homemade goodies.

My grandmother’s anise sugar cookies were big, thick, and the stuff of magical memories for me. It took very little to veganize her recipe, and the taste is identical to what I remember.

Our celebratory foods can taste the same while being so much kinder when we leave the animals out of them.

– Linda Nelson

Grandma Stonebrook’s Sugar Cookies


5 cups all purpose flour (my grandmother had 18 grandchildren to please, but you can halve the recipe.)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup soy milk
2 teaspoons anise extract
1 tablespoon anise seed (these are optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or with parchment paper.

Cream the sugar, vegan butter, and anise extract until smooth. Sift in the flour and baking soda, and mix with a wooden spoon, and then with your hands adding splashes of the soy milk as you do so. You might not need the full 1/2 cup.

Mix until you have a soft dough and fold in the anise seed, if using.

Work with about a fourth of the dough at a time. You can put the rest in the refrigerator to keep it from getting too soft.

Roll the dough out to the desired thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters of your choice and place the shapes on the cookie sheet with about 1/2 inch space between. Bake for about ten minutes or until the cookies are golden.

This dough can be refrigerated or frozen. My family used to make a big bowl of dough and then use it all up over several days.

Let the decorating begin! All of the cookies pictured here were made with the same dough. I often use wafer papers with edible, vegetable dyes and/or India Tree food coloring. This is expensive, but a little goes a long way.


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