Vegan shortbread is actually really easy to make. So easy, in fact, that once you see how much the payoff outweighs the work you’ll be making it all the time. You can buy vegan shortbread these days, which is fine for when you’re feeling lazy or want an immediate sweet snack, but the full flavour isn’t there. The one’s I’ve tried so far, I’ve found to be a bit bland. As you can whip up a batch of these in no time, there’s no good reason not to. You just cream the butter and sugar, knead the ingredients together, cut out your shapes, let it chill and bake. Easy!
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There are now a good variety of vegan butters available at just about every supermarket. Using butter in this recipe and not margarine is what makes the flavour. At home, we tend to by the flora vegan block butter, which is what was used in this recipe. I would strongly urge you to do the same and use your favourite vegan butter to get the best experience from your shortbread. It needs to be at room temperature so that you can cream it with the sugar, so it is best to take the butter out of the fridge a couple of hours before hand. You can warm it in the microwave, but you will have to watch it very closely as microwaved butter tends to melt in the middle before it is soft on the edges,
The chocolate chips are a great addition to this recipe and give the shortbread a whole new dimension of flavour. I used a standard 100g dark chocolate block and chopped it up with a sharp knife. If you would like a more traditional shortbread, then feel free to leave the chocolate out and keep it plain.
- 150 g golden caster sugar
- 200 g vegan butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 300 g plain flour
- 100 g dark chocolate chopped small (make sure it’s vegan)
- First put the sugar and butter in a bowl together and cream, using an electric whisk, until the mixture is pale, light and fluffy.
- Now add the vanilla and flour and stir in until completely mixed. Bring together with your hands and knead for a moment, then add the chocolate and knead it in, until it is fully incorporated.
- Bring your dough ball out onto a lightly floured surface (you can also do this on greaseproof paper if you prefer) and roll out to just under 1cm thick. Now use a cookie cutter of about 7cm in diameter and cut out as many rounds as you can from the rolled out dough. Place each round on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper (you don’t need to leave much space between them as they won’t expand much). Knead and re-roll the dough as many times as you need to use it all up.
- Place the tray full of biscuits in the fridge and chill for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to Gas 5/190C/375F.
- Once the biscuits have chilled, place them in the middle of the oven and cook them for 20-25 minutes, until they are risen and slightly browned.
- Leave them to cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. They will crispen up as they cool, so allow then to cool thoroughly before serving.
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