Who doesn't enjoy a lovely crisp shortbread biscuit! Shortbread is revered in Scotland and often appears in tartan tins and boxes, a representation of our Scottish culture, although not a very healthy one!
My Aunt Nessie was an ace shortbread maker, her shortbread was light, crisp and delicious, just melt in the mouth fabulous and I can still remember it so well! She also made fabulous meringues, in fact all of my aunts were great bakers, as was my mum and my gran! Baking is a creative process and it's just lovely to bake cakes, biscuits and scones. There is nothing as good as home baking
Traditionally shortbread is just flour, butter and sugar but I wanted to make a vegan version and since I am mad on foraging at the moment, I added some dandelion petals and some lemon zest for extra polyphenols and a wee treat for our gut microbes, and of course a lovely subtle lemon flavour!
A tsp of mixed spice and orange zest would also be a lovely addition or a few tablespoons of chocolate chips, just use what you have!
You can make the basic recipe without these additions but its fun to add them if you have them!
I also replaced some of the flour with cornflour, which gives a crispier biscuit with a melt in the mouth texture! You can also use rice flour!
It's important to keep the vegan spread as cold as possible so use it straight from the fridge.
I used Vitalite vegan spread since that's what I had but on hindsight I would use Naturli which comes in a block, more like butter and it tastes great too!
So this is a really simple just add the ingredients to your food processor and process until a dough forms. You really need to rest the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or ideally longer to firm it up a bit.
If you don't have a food processor then just add the flours and sugar to a large baking bowl and add the vegan spread cut up, then use your fingers to roughly rub it in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then just knead it a bit to bring it into a ball. It really helps to run your hands under the cold tap and handle the dough as gently as possible. Overworking it will result in a less crisp and tougher shortbread.
Then work fast and handle the dough as little as possible. Just roll it out on a floured surface to around 1/4 inch thick and either mark it into squares or rectangles, or use a cookie cutter to cut your biscuits. Dip the cutter into flour to prevent it sticking and quickly transfer your shortbread to a lightly greased baking tray or one lined with a silicone liner. Sprinkle the top with some sugar if you like. You can also prick the biscuits with a fork.
These were really lovely wee biscuits to enjoy with a cup of tea, or just as a wee treat or to keep the kids occupied for a while!
Here is my basic recipe, I hope you give them a go! The recipe also works using butter for a non vegan option!
🍃 Health educator🍃