It occurred to me the other day, that shortbread and all those shortbread-a-like biscuits that have that flaky short crumb are basically just shortcrust pastry with sweetener and maybe flavourings..
And now I had mastered shortcrust pastry, I could probably master yummy biscuits too.
So, as it is Christmas, and as shortbread is a family tradition (My Granny's was legendary) I thought I had better make some immediately, if not sooner.
The fat I used in place of butter is coconut oil. It has a slightly lower melting temperature than butter, but in our cold climate it stays solid out of the fridge. For my warm climate readers, keep it in the fridge for best results. You need it solid to create that lovely crisp flaky texture.
If you use unrefined coconut oil these will taste a little *coconutty* however you could try a gently refined oil if you want to remove that flavour. All my testers however have loved it with a slight coconut flavour, so I'll keep making them with my unrefined oil.
A few frozen cubes of aquafaba (the juice from the tin of chickpeas!) replaces eggs and then you can flavour these as you like.
These gorgeous cookies are much easier to roll out and stamp into cute shapes if you leave the dough in the fridge for an hour or so. When I'm ready to bake, I break off just as much as I can roll out on my surface and leave the rest in the fridge . Make sure your surface is dry and generously sprinkled with flour!!
Add flavourings if you wish, or just serve simply with sugar on top.
These fab little biscuits are the perfect gift to take along to treat a friend who is hosting a Christmas party!
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Vegan Coconut Shortbread Stars
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 125 g coconut oil
- 55 g caster sugar
- 180 g plain flour
- 2 Tbs aquafaba (Chilled or frozen into an icecube tray) ((The juice from a tin of chickpeas))
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1-2 teaspoon ice cold water
- extra sugar to sprinkle
- In a food processor whizz together the coconut oil, sugar, flour, aquafaba and vanilla
- You will end up with a fine crumb texture.
- Drop by drop add the water until the dough starts to come together.
- Take the dough out of the food processor & gently press together so it becomes a ball. Keep the lightest touch and don't overheat the dough! Pop it into the fridge for 10mins-½ an hour to cool.
- Heat your oven to Gas Mark 5/ 190C
- Break of around ⅓ of the dough & roll out onto a dry floured surface : approx 5-8mm thick.
- Stamp out into stars (or whatever you choose!) and put them onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Work quickly, you want to keep the dough cool to keep that crisp, flaky texture.
- Sprinkle with sugar
- Bake for around 10 minutes on the middle shelf.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough!
- You can decorate these with icing or melted chocolate if you're creative!