Two flavours of ‘buttery’ vegan shortbread from one batch of dough…. lemon & poppy seed and macademia & choc chip.
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 love hearts 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!
Ingredients: Vegan Shortbread
Dairy-free ‘butter’ Make sure you use a block butter (rather than a tub of spread), as the water content is much lower so you will get a richer, crumblier shortbread that is easier dough to work with. My current favourites are the Flora Plant Butter and Naturli Block if you can get hold of it.
Rice Flour This was a River Cottage tip for fantastic shortbread, and it really does make all the difference here so do try to get hold of some. It is widely stocked in supermarkets these days.
Macadamia nuts are very luxurious (with a price tag to match!), and have a particularly ‘buttery’ taste. (I also use them in my Vegan Flapjacks, I’m a bit of a fan!). If you can’t get hold of any then try using hazelnuts or brazils – also a great match for the dark chocolate chips.
Dark Chocolate Chips Do check the labels to make sure they are milk-free – many brands whose bars of dark chocolate are vegan then sneak some milk into their chocolate chips, annoyingly. Never assume anything – read the labels!
Variations on your Vegan Shortbread Cookies
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
Freezing your Vegan Shortbread
Did you know that you can freeze unbaked shortbread dough ready rolled and cut out into shapes, (or just roll out a long sausage shape and slice into rounds).
Then when a friend comes over for coffee, just defrost a few on a baking tray in the morning, then pop into the oven and voila – freshly baked biscuits every time. Yum!
Vegan in 15 Cookbook
There are plenty of similarly quick and easy recipes in my new book, ‘Vegan in 15‘*.
Hop over to Amazon for a look. Thanks for your support!
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Vegan Shortbread Biscuits
- 250 g dairy-free block margarine
- 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
- 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.