A few words about this recipe: after experimenting with coconut oil, I decided on coconut-based vegan margarine. Vitalite, to be precise. I know it’s not a whole food, but at least it doesn’t contain hydrogenated fat. My coconut oil attempt was nice and buttery, but a tad too… well…oily. Maybe another time I’ll get it right. My next confession is that I used white flour and white sugar. White sugar is of course the most unhealthy sugar you can get but these cookies fall into the “sweet treat” category and white sugar from beet (rather than sugar cane) is fine for vegetarians and vegans as it is not bone-char filtered. Wholemeal flour with the coarser bran particles sieved out and soft brown sugar would probably work just as well. The ground rice is just that: I threw brown rice into a high- speed blender.You could, of course, use rice flour, or not bother at all, but I do think it guarantees that crunch that shortbread absolutely must have. Fine cornmeal would also work, and give the shortbread an attractive yellowy colour. The amounts in this recipe will yield about 16 cookies the size of digestive biscuits.
200g dairy-free spread
100g caster sugar
a pinch of sea salt
300g plain flour
1 tab ground rice
icing sugar for decorating
- Cream the margarine, sugar and salt together.
- Mix in the ground rice and the flour until you have a ball of dough.
- I found the dough handled perfectly well without being chilled before rolling out, but if yours doesn’t wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for a while.
- Roll out the dough to about 0.5cm thick. To save messing my worktop up, I rolled it out on clingfilm. Cut into the desired shapes. Keep rolling and cutting until the dough has all been used.
- Place the cookies carefully on baking trays. I lightly oiled mine, but you could using baking parchment.Bake in the centre of an oven preheated to 160-180C. After bout 10 minutes your cookies should be done. They will look ever so slighly golden around the edges.
- Place them carefully on a rack to cool and crisp up. That’s the thing about biscuits; they never look quite cooked but they are, and they don’t go crunchy until they have cooled.
- When the cookies are cool, you can make some icing by mixing a few drops of water with some icing sugar and spread that on,add sprinkles, cake glitter; whatever you like- or just dust them with sugar.
- Perfect with a steaming mug of cocoa on a cold evening!
How did you decorate your cookies? Let us know via the comments below; you could even send a picture.