Before you fire up this year’s viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, make a quick batch of Lasso the Moon cookies for snacking. These crescent moon cookies are completed with a chocolate lasso. Vegan.
It’s a Wonderful Life turns 70 this year. The classic holiday movie follows the life of George Bailey, a man who never left his little town and feels like a failure.
While contemplating suicide, his guardian angel, Clarence, shows up to show George what his town would be like if he’d never been born. George is able to see glimpses of an alternate universe where his good deeds went undone because George wasn’t there.
Clarence observes, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
And (spoilers) when George returns to his real life again, he’s able to appreciate anew what a wonderful life he’s really had.
It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas cards
David and I send out Christmas cards every year. And as much as I love a good stationery store, around the holidays we usually do something more personalized.
This year we did a card based on It’s a Wonderful Life with David as George, and me as George’s wife, Mary. (A few years ago, we were Scrooge and Marley.)
The card is a parody of one of the well-known movie posters for the film.
Of course, Avon and Jezebel needed to be included too.
Avon was billed as Clarence, the guardian angel second class, who is still trying to earn his wings. And Jezebel was cast as Mr. Potter, George’s nemesis and local curmudgeon.
In the film, when George is able to return to his timeline, he knows he’s home again when he reaches into his pocket and finds his daughter Zuzu’s flower petals, that he’d hidden there earlier in the film. So inside the card, I tucked a few petals inside of each one.
Of course, I knew not everyone would understand it. So I was excited when my brother texted me a couple nights ago with the phrase, “Zuzu’s petals!”
(The remaining roses are currently in a vase in the closet, because Avon desperately wants to eat them. He keeps standing outside the closet door begging to get in. Don’t bother ringing any bells. At this rate, it will still be a while until he gets his wings.)
Continuing with the It’s a Wonderful Life theme, I have a cookie recipe to share…
“You want the moon?”
At one point in the film, before George and Mary were married, George was flirting with her. Mary makes a wish, and George tries to squeeze it out of her. He wonders if maybe her wish was for the moon.
So he offers, “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey, that’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”
She replies, “I’ll take it. Then what?”
And George continues, “Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and toes and the ends of your hair…”
I can’t make any promises about moonbeams where your nails used to be, but today I lassoed the moon for you.
These sweet little cookies would make a great treat for Christmas movie watching, to snack on with coffee while playing holiday music, or as a little gift for the It’s a Wonderful Life movie lover in your life.
Crescent moon cookies are classics like It’s a Wonderful Life. Mine are vegan, of course, and made with both all-purpose and almond flour, and a touch of almond extract.
The buttery light cookies have a slightly salty edge that marries perfectly with a dusting of powdered sugar and a chocolate lasso.
How to make crescent cookies
The lassos are very easy to make by first melting chocolate chips in the microwave. (Of course, if you are more old school than I am, you’re welcome to melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler instead.)
Then pipe the melted chocolate onto parchment paper with a pastry bag or freezer bag that has a hole cut in the corner. Draw simple lasso shapes (basically a loopy 6). Then let them solidify in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.
These delicate moon cookies have a slight crunch to them and a nutty edge by way of the almond flour. The chocolate completes the experience perfectly. Not overly sugary, they have just a kiss of sweetness.
I hope that you are having a very happy holiday season, however you celebrate. Best wishes to you and yours!
Lasso the Moon Cookies (A vegan cookie tribute to It’s a Wonderful Life)
- Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Put non-dairy chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and microwave for 30 seconds more. Remove the chocolate chips from the microwave and stir them until completely melted. (The chocolate chips won’t look fully melted at first, but once you start stirring them again, they will melt completely in the bowl.)
- Put the melted chocolate chips into a pastry bag or a freezer bag. If using a freezer bag, push the chocolate into one corner of the bag, and then snip off the edge of the corner with a pair of scissors. Squeeze chocolate onto two of the parchment paper covered baking sheets. Draw lasso shapes with the chocolate, basically a loopy version of the number 6. I recommend making more lassos than you need, in case any of them don’t fit or break while looping around the cookies.*
- Put the baking sheets with lassos into the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, so that the chocolate can solidify.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to fully combine all purpose flour, almond flour, and coarse sea salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine almond extract, evaporated cane juice, and non-dairy butter. Use a mixer to whip it for 30 seconds to a minute, until light and fully combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, continue beating a minute or two, until well combined.
- Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Put the dough ball on a plate, and move to the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill.
- Once fully chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pinch off pieces that are about the size of a rounded teaspoon. Roll each piece into a 1 ½ to 2 inch long log, slightly pinch the ends, and bend into the shape of a crescent moon. Put each moon shape onto the final parchment paper covered baking sheet. Continue with each moon, spacing each one out about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 12 minutes. The edges of the cookies will be slightly toasty brown. Either move the cookies to a cooling rack or carefully pull the parchment paper wth the cookies on it off the baking sheet and onto the counter to cool.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely before putting the chocolate lasso on them. Otherwise, the chocolate will melt. Once the cookies are cool, dust them with powdered sugar, and wrap each one with a chocolate lasso.