serious spice: vegan garam masala cookies

vegan garam masala cookie

If you were to do a search on my blog for garam masala you’d find the usual suspects. A pot of lentils and apples might be involved. Maybe you’d stumble over chickpeas and tomatoes or tofu with squash. Cauliflower and coconut milk? Sure. Now, I can add cookies to the list. Perhaps the thought of adding curry to your cookies might scare you a little or maybe you’ll run to the kitchen and bake up a batch like I did. I hope you’re the latter, but if not, I think you can easily be convinced that garam masala doesn’t have to be served alongside brown rice.

vegan garam masala cookies

Think gingersnap spice cookies. Spicy and redolent of cinnamon, cardamom, and a hint of black pepper. These are warm tasting cookies and perfect for a rainy Saturday downpour because apparently where there’s sun, a rainy string of days is sure to follow. So while I’d love the sun, I’ve got cookies and really tasty and wonderful ones at that. No complaints here.

These are vegan so they are perfect if you swing that way or are out of eggs like I was. I used a vegan margarine because I apparently do not grocery shop enough and was out of butter, but I’m sure these would turn out beautifully with butter too. The original recipe uses a garam masala spice powder, but I only had my standby Patak’s paste. And because the paste is oily and wet, I subbed out a teaspoon of the butter to compensate and it worked out just fine. However, please watch out when you bake them – these are spreaders, so I baked six to a pan without incident. In fact, they are pretty perfect looking cookies if I might be so bold.

I baked these for about 12 minutes which resulted in a crisp and crunchy cookie with a slightly chewy interior. If you want a chewier cookie, bake for 10 minutes and let them sit a bit in the pan to firm up before transferring them to a cooling rack.

spice cookies

elsewhere: So much good stuff is going on! Over at Poppytalk, I roast some frozen berries with vanilla which makes a wonderful sauce for yogurt or just about anything – get the recipe and thank me later! At ReadyMade, I make 2 wonderful summer drinks starring Aperol, a fantastic bitter orange liqueur. My husband’s hand makes a fine model so go check it out! And because we’ve got to ground ourselves with a bit of greens, I talk about ridding yourself of your salad rut. You need this.

48 comments to “serious spice: vegan garam masala cookies”

  1. 1
    Katrina   May 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Interesting cookies! I have the mugs that match that plate!

  2. 2
    Shirleen   May 26, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I love your blog. You always have such fabulous recipes! 🙂

  3. 3
    Gemma   May 26, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I really like the sound of these, think I’ll be giving them a try very very soon!

  4. 4
    Joanne   May 26, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Whoa, crazy innovative! And delicious! I am SO making these.

  5. 5
    cindy   May 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

    those sound soooo good! i love garam masala spice…sometimes when i am cooking, and not even using it, i take it down and smell it a few times. (i know, weird.) i have a recipe for chai spice ones, but these are even more interesting!

  6. 6
    tammy   May 26, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Mmmmm, those might just push away the cold grey that is our extended March feeling here in the lower mainland. 😉

  7. 7
    Rachel (Olalliberry)   May 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    What a neat idea! I have an ancient jar of garam masala that is probably dessicated and flavorless… do you have a brand or type that you recommend? Or certain spice combos to look out for?

  8. 8
    kickpleat   May 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Katrina, your mug and my plate needs to get together!!

    Thanks so much Shirleen.

    Gemma, these are soooo good. Try them out 🙂

    Indeed, Joanne! Give ’em a go.

    Cindy that is not weird at all. I love chai spices in cookies and baked goods and this is just another interesting twist!

    Don’t I know it, Tammy!

    Rachel, I always use Patak’s curry pastes for pretty much everything. I don’t buy powdered because I’m not sure how long they’ll last. Plus, it’s the curry that I was first introduced to. I stick with a winner 🙂

  9. 9
    shellie   May 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Yum I cant wait to try these and i just happened to be eating garam masala myself with pan roasted carrots garlic and onion! I have got some friends that dont do the egg.

  10. 10
    shellie   May 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    oh yeah I put them on a ciabatta with some fresh mozzarella( i so spelled that wrong) and toasted pumpkin seeds and broiled. YUM hooray for the garam!

  11. 11
    Molly   May 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Gasp! I need no convincing at all. These sound spectacular, somewhat like my all-time favorite cookie, the chewy vegan ginger snaps from Whole Foods. Except that these sound one hundred times better.

  12. 12
    Jacqui   May 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I was just thinking about making some ginger cookies soon, but these might replace that idea!

  13. 13
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)   May 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Um, yeah, that ingredient does kind of scare me in a cookie. But I am bookmarking this and just might try it on a day I’m feeling bold. They do look beautiful. And they sound pretty delicious.

  14. 14
    sweetsugarbean   May 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I like cookies with character, and I bet these smell amazing!

  15. 15
    Meister @ The Nervous Cook   May 27, 2011 at 5:50 am

    These do look like the perfect rainy-Saturday cookie — just the thing to have next to you when you’re curled up with a book and a cup of tea. Love that they’re vegan, too!

  16. 16
    Megan Gordon   May 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Well my, my! These look fantastic! More and more of my customers are asking for vegan desserts/pies and I have yet to experiment with vegan margarine, but I think you’ve successfully given me a nudge. Thank you; happy weekend!

  17. 17
    heather   May 28, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Serious spice! Garam masala is one of the reasons I enjoy Indian food so much. What a great thing to incorporate it into more familiar items, and even greater to incorporate it into an already killer cookie.

    Cheers and happy Memorial Day weekend,


  18. 18
    vanilla sugar blog   May 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    oh my gosh! must have. wow. now this is a creative lil cookie. would who have thought?
    love love love when people get creative like this.
    happy happy!

  19. 19
    Katarina   May 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Very interesting recipe to use garam masala in cookies 🙂

  20. 20
    Kimberley   May 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I am the opposite of scared. I love intriguing spices in baked goods. Another winner 🙂

  21. 21
    Carly   May 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I love this idea! I’ve used Chinese 5 spice powder in desserts with great success, and I imagine garam masala would be absolutely delicious.

  22. 22
    Redpath Sugar   May 30, 2011 at 6:51 am

    These look amazing and so interesting. We’ve posted them on our Facebook page!

    🙂 – Anna

  23. 23
    christine [the sugar apothecary]   May 31, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    So awesome! I love super spice cookies. And vegan too? They look amazing.

  24. 24
    Rob   May 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I made these tonight….so SO amazing! I ground fresh cardamom and used just a little extra garam marsala (powdered) and they turned out deliciously!


  25. 25
    erinwyso   June 1, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Great idea! Lovely recipe and photos.

  26. 26
    Lynn   June 1, 2011 at 7:58 am

    What an intriguing idea. I would never have thought to put that in cookies. They look totally delicious, though.

  27. 27
    Sheena S.   June 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Officially intrigued.

  28. 28
    Dawna   June 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Sounds fantastic! And, I happen to have a freshly roasted and ground batch of garam masala, too, so this could happen at any minute.

  29. 29
    kickpleat   June 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Totally fell behind on the comments here, but thank you!!

    Megan, yes baking with Smart Balance is so good (just ease up on the salt since I find SB to be quite salty).

    Rob, so glad you baked these up! Hooray for grinding up your cardamom fresh too! Bonus deliciousness.

  30. 30
    Bijoux   June 7, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Yum! Sounds delicious. I love playing around with spice and find the addition of garam masala to these cookies very exciting. Definitely a recipe to bookmark.

  31. 31
    Jessica   June 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Wow these look great! I wrote in my blog about some Cardamom cookies which people normally find weird enough; I think garam masala cookies are even MORE interesting! Good work! (I have been reading your blog for a while but not daring to comment!) Keep it up! -Jess

  32. 32
    Cara   June 18, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    These look absolutely fabulous! Even as a kid I always wanted spice cake instead of chocolate, so these are definitely on my list to try…

  33. 33
    Victoria   June 19, 2011 at 7:10 am

    oh my god. Those cookies sound AMAZING. They actually combine all of my favorite things! I must make these asap

  34. 34
    kickpleat   July 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Bijoux, it’s a tasty recipe and not as usual tasting as it seems!!

    Thanks so much Jess for commenting and reading 🙂 Cardamom cookies sound wonderful!

    Cara, I’d go for a spice cake too!

    Yay, glad you approve Victoria! Enjoy.

  35. 35
    Ashley   July 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I love spice cookies! The sound of garam masala in these really intrigues me. And I agree – these are some really perfect looking cookies.

  36. 36
    The Light in The Attic   August 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I just found your blog and I’ve already made your Banana Espresso Bread, and these Garam Masala cookies! I never doubted the gloriousness of these curry cookies and I am munching away completely satisfied! Only drawback: Ground cardamom is hard to find in Italy, and unavailable in my city! I really like cinnamon, so I just added an extra dash! Thanks!

  37. 37
    Lisa Cooper   September 30, 2011 at 7:32 am

    These are so delicious. They are a staple at our house now. Thanks.

  38. 38
    C   March 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I made them tonight–a quick and amazingly flavorful recipe! I love that they are crispy but have that chewy center.

  39. 39
    Whitney   May 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I saw this recipe and within an hour I had these guys in the oven. Verdict? Best cookies I’ve ever eaten! Oh I’m just smitten. My husband usually doesn’t love sweets, but since he’s Indian, I think he’ll love these 😉 Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  40. 40
    Needful Things   December 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I saw these mentioned in the comment section of another one of your posts & was really intrigued. Garam masala? In a cookie? Wow. This is something I would never think of but I assume it would work almost like Allspice powder. But what happens to the coriander, cumin and other spices in there …Hmm… another one I’m going to bookmark & try out soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

  41. 41
    Sarah   March 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I made these recently and they were beautiful, the best biscuits I think I’ve ever made. Buttery, slightly chewy and really tasty spices – thanks for the recipe!

  42. 42
    shakti   July 2, 2013 at 3:58 am

    I am in love- the real thing- forever………just me and the cookies…….grrrrrrrr get your thieving hands away from that plate!

  43. 43
    Rondaa   January 5, 2020 at 9:24 am

    What makes this cookie vegan ?

  44. 44
    kickpleat   January 5, 2020 at 9:32 am

    No dairy or no eggs. And I assume if you are baking, you are also using vegan sugar too!

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