These vanilla cookies are very melt in the mouth and very buttery tasting and shortbread is one of the easiest biscuits to make as it has very few ingredients and doesn’t spread out during baking like other biscuits. I’ve tested these shortbreads out on friends who said they couldn’t tell they were vegan and they really love them and were surprised there was no butter in them at all.
I think if there were more vegan recipes that were really delicious and looked very appealing more people would happily opt for them. I hope to change that with my vegan recipes and I think that food should be delicious and look lovely and that includes vegan. I don’t believe in being obsessively saintly as that’s too extreme, my recipes are healthy and delicious with a bit of an indulgent bias both visually and taste wise. If you prefer to make them with butter you can, I just tend to be as dairy free as much as possible.
Makes about 20.
1 cup of warm mild coconut oil or Naturli vegan spread ( or butter at room temperature if you prefer)
1 vanilla pod or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of caster sugar (I use golden)
2 and 1/2 cups of plain flour (I use spelt)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
150g of dark chocolate
Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the coconut oil or butter with the sugar till thoroughly mixed.
Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape the black tar-like seeds out and put into the bowl with the oil and sugar or add the vanilla extract if using.
Next, mix in the flour and salt and mix together till you have a dough. It might seem very grainy but it’s fine once it’s baked. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
Roll the dough out on a floured board (it might need a little kneading to make it more pliable first) to about half a centimetre in thickness.
Using a cookie-cutter stamp out the cookies and place on the prepared baking tray.
Bake for about 15 minutes, all ovens vary. They are done when they are very slightly starting to go golden at the edges. Leave to cool.
Place the chocolate to melt in a bowl over a pan with an inch of very gently simmering water in it.
Once melted, dip the short bread into the chocolate, I just did one side of the short bread, and place on a silicon sheet or parchment paper. Leave the chocolate to set.
Lastly…While the chocolate is still setting you can decorate the chocolate side with things like sprinkles, freeze dried raspberries or strawberries or my favourite is crystallised ginger pieces or candied orange peel.