Here’s a quick and easy recipe to wow and woo your valentine, with not one but two flavours of beautifully ‘buttery’ shortbread, without the butter! These Lemon & Poppyseed and Macadamia Nut & Dark Choc Chip lovehearts are sure to melt even the hardest of hearts.
There was a Valentines’ Coffee Morning at Pre-School this morning, so these fitted the bill perfectly. Super-quick to throw together, (though they do need an hour of chilling in the fridge – you can be chilling elsewhere), using one big batch of dough to make two different flavours makes it look like you’ve put in far more effort than you really have… bonus!
If you are making them vegan, just double-check that your dark chocolate chips are dairy-free – the majority are, but its worth checking the small print.
For more flavour ideas, how about:
- Pistachio and Orange 50g shelled pistachios and the zest of 1 orange
- Dried Cranberry & Pecan 50g dried cranberries and 50g roughly chopped pecans
- Vanilla & Choc Chip 1 tsp vanilla extract and 50g dark chocolate chips
- Hazelnut & Sultana 50g roughly chopped hazelnuts and 50g sultanas
- 250 g dairy-free block margarine (I like Stork and Tomor)
- 125 g caster sugar
- 140 g rice flour
- Pinch salt
- 250 g plain flour
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 50 g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- 50 g dark chocolate chips (most are dairy-free - check the packet)
In a food mixer, beat the margarine and sugar together very well (for at least a minute), then add the rice flour and salt. Beat again.
Add the plain flour and mix on a very low speed until just combined into a crumbly dough (it won't really hold together at this stage, don't panic).
Tip out onto a floured surface, and use your hands to press the dough together into a large lump. Divide the dough into two equal halves, and return one to the bowl. Sprinkle this half with the lemon zest and poppy seeds, and gently knead it together until evenly distributed, (avoid over-mixing, do as little as you can).
Add the chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts to the other half of the dough, and knead gently until evenly distributed.
Cover two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper. Roll out the dough to around half a centimetre thick, (a little too thick is far better than too thin where shortbread is concerned!). Use a heart shaped cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can, placing them on the baking trays. Then roll the offcuts together and re-roll and cut again. Continue until all the dough has been used up.
Repeat the process with the lemon & poppyseed dough. Place both trays in the fridge for an hour.
Whilst the biscuits are chilling, preheat your oven to 160°C / 320°F / Gas Mark 3. When an hour is up, remove them from the fridge, sprinkle each one with caster sugar and pat gently to press it into the dough.
Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes, they should remain fairly pale, don't let them turn too brown. After 20 minutes check underneath a few - if they are still a little soggy, flip them all over and return to the oven for a further 3-4 minutes.
Remove and place on a cooling rack.
For more edible gift ideas to woo your valentine, take a look at my:
- Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti
- Beetroot & Chilli Ketchup
- Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge
- Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes
or hop over to my Pinterest Board Edible Gifts: Vegetarian & Vegan