So, when I set about creating an allergy-friendly shortbread recipe that my niece could indulge in this Christmas, it was quite a frustrating endeavor. Thankfully, there are some wonderful vegan spreads on the market that work quite well. My favorites are the Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks and Nuttelax spread. Both work well in this recipe. But if you are not refraining from dairy or need to make these soy-free, feel free to use conventional butter, which will make these shortbread cookies taste even better. I have deliberately chosen to use coconut sugar in this recipe, as it adds a gorgeous caramel-like quality that comes the closest to replicating the richness of butter. But if you want to make these more forgiving on the purse strings, feel free to use conventional cane sugar. The secret ingredient in this blend is the vanilla extract and lemon zest. If you want these really lemony, feel free to add more zest, But two teaspoons was juuuuust right for me.
- Preheat oven to 180 C / 350°F.
- Sift together flours, baking soda and salt until well combined.
- Cream butter, vanilla and sugar in the food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the dry ingredients and lemon zest and pulse until the mixture forms a workable dough.
- If batter is too sticky, just add a pinch more rice flour a little at a time until workable.
- Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper to about 2 mm / ¼ inch thick.
- Cut with cookie cutters and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes - the cookies will yield to the touch slightly and will not be completely hard.
- Take out of the oven and leave on the tray for a couple of minutes before placing on a rack to cook and solidify.