Chewy Pink Cookies (coloured with beets!)
These chewy pink cookies are so much fun! Super easy to make, just 30 minutes start to finish with no chilling required. Choose either a drop cookie or roll them out. And that colour? Real beet puree instead of food colouring (you’ll taste nothing but vanilla!)
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I like to bake…but I don’t like a lot of fuss!! The chances I’ll turn on the oven grow exponentially when A) I know I have all the ingredients on hand already and B) it’s not going to take that long. Which is why my gluten free snowball cookies and vegan breakfast cookies are forever favourites around here.
Someone recently left a comment on the blog that praised the “effort to reward ratio” of my recipe and heck, I think that’s my whole personality now. Plant-based recipes, but make it low effort and high reward…just like these cute chewy pink cookies. Hmmm, definitely sounds better than yummy recipes from a lazy cook, ha.
Making cookies pink is such a random idea for me, particularly because I’m not one of those moms who executes perfect Barbie-themed parties or makes Valentine’s Day a way of life. I wish I was, but as I mentioned on a recent podcast, I wholeheartedly embrace B+ parenting.
I am, however, that vegan dietitian mom who struggles with sneaking a bit of extra veggies or nutrition into her kids’ lunchboxes, while keeping also it nut free.
So I consider these tender, chewy pink cookies an absolute victory. For starters, these cookies get their cute pink colour from beets, not food colouring. Because, why not?!?
Beets have a strong pigment that survives baking and it’s super easy to blend up a beet puree from pre-cooked beets. Plus, while not exactly a hidden veggie cookie, no one will realize you’ve used beets in these vegan cookies so it may just win a few hearts and minds over to the beet cause with a tiny uptick in nutrition.
Another parenting triumph: my youngest still LOVES them, even when I do half white and half whole wheat flour.
As promised, these cookies are really easy. By using cold vegan butter, you can get these cookies from mixing to baking without any chilling time. The dough is super versatile: I’ve made these as a drop cookie or rolled them out and cut them into cute stars or heart shapes (which was hands down the fave variation). You could drizzle them with some melted dark or white vegan chocolate or make a grown up variation with cardamom and rose powder…I’ve added plenty of notes on how to make this recipe your own below!
How to make these naturally vegan pink cookies
These chewy pink, sugar cookie-style treats are so dang simple that they only require 7 ingredients! This recipe makes about two dozen 2-inch (5 cm) cookies so they’re great for bake sales too. Here’s a step-by-step on how to make them:
Step One: gather your ingredients. You’ll need cold vegan baking sticks (I find Earth Balance the most reliable), sugar, beet puree (instructions below!), vanilla, flour, salt and baking powder.
Step Two: Whisk up the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
Step Three: In a large bowl, cream the vegan butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until fluffy with no chunks of butter remaining. Then whip in the beet puree and vanilla until evenly combined.
Step Four: Add the flour mixture to the beet mixture, half at a time, and beat until just combined. If you’re going to do a drop cookie, you’re ready to go! Just scoop out 1 tablespoon of dough, roll and press into a 2 inch (5 cm) disk and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. They won’t spread too much, so leaving 1 inch (2.5cm) between each cookie is fine.
Want to make a rolled cookie? If the dough is feeling a bit wet, just knead a bit more white flour until it’s drier to the touch. Then roll out on a lightly floured surface until the dough is ¼ inch (½ cm) thick and cut with your favourite cookie cutter shape.
Step Five: Bake at 350F (176C) until firmly set on edges but not in the center so they stay chewy – don’t over bake! – about 12-14 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes then slide directly onto the wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days…if they last that long!
How to make a beet puree for food colouring
The easiest way to make beet puree? Buy some pre-cooked beets and then just blend them up in a small food processor until the puree looks not like finely chopped beets but an actual paste, about 2-3 minutes.
What you have to watch out for is that some pre-cooked beets have less pigment than others. So if the beets have more of a brown-ish, oxidized cast, so will your cookies. Look for dark red ones!
Wanna guarantee that colour? Steam your own beets. Take one large beet, scrub the skin well (no need to peel!), trim off the top and bottom and then dice into ½ inch (1 cm) cubes. You can steam in a microwave steamer, or in a small pot fit with a steamer basket or fine mess sieve, until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Then puree until smooth as above.
Flavour and decorating variations for these pink cookies
- Cardamom and rose variation: One of my favourite flavour combos! Try adding in ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) ground cardamom and ½ teaspoon rose powder into the dough.
- Raspberry chocolate drop cookies: As a final step, mix in ⅓ cup crushed freeze dried raspberries and ⅓ cup dark chocolate mini chips by hand before scooping.
- Chocolate drizzle: Or, you can melt ½ cup vegan white or dark chocolate with 1 tsp coconut oil in the microwave and drizzle over cut out shapes.
More yummy healthy-ish vegan cookie recipes
- Tender Cardamom Orange Shortbread
- Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies with Hemp Hearts
- Healthy Breakfast Cookies
Chewy Pink Cookies (coloured with beets!)
- 2 cups all purpose flour, or 1 cup AP + 1 cup whole wheat, your choice!
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegan butter, I like Earth Balance Sticks, let sit for 5 minutes before using. Do not heat!
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- ⅓ cup beet puree, see easy how to in blog post!
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Optional Variations…see blog post!
- handheld beaters a stand mixer, or a sturdy wooden spoon and some elbow grease!
- Preheat oven to 350℉ (176℃). Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream vegan butter and sugar until fluffy with no chunks of butter remaining.
- Add beet puree and vanilla to butter mixture and mix until well combined.
- Add half the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined, then add the remaining half and beat until no flour-y spots remain.
For drop cookies
- If making drop cookies, fold in add in any desired extras like chocolate chips now, then scoop out about 1 tbsp (15 mL) dough. Roll and press into 2 inch (5 cm) wide and ¼ inch (½ cm) thick disks and place on baking sheet with 1 inch (2.5 cm) between them.
For rolled out cookies
- To make rolled cookies, you might need to work in a bit more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time, so the dough feels dry to the touch.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to ¼ inch (½ cm) thick. Cut with your favourite shapes and place on cookie sheet leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) between them.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes for 2 inch cookies and maybe a minute more for 4 inch cookies until edges are set but centres yield to pressure. We are under-baking them a bit so they stay chewy and maintain colour! Remove baking sheet to a cooling rack for 5 minutes then carefully slide cookies directly onto cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.