Strawberry shortbread

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At this time of year, the shops in Scotland are full of tins of yummy shortbread but alas I can’t eat any of it because it’s not vegan. What is Hogmanay without shortbread? Well no more shall I do without, here’s my own version of our Scottish treat with a little bit of a fruity twist.

I’ve added some strawberry flavouring to the shortbread – you could though add any flavour you like. How about a little bit of orange and then top the shortbread with chocolate, or a twist of lemon, I even though a touch of rose water would make a very delicate shortbread. Of course you could just omit the flavouring and enjoy it sprinkled with a little sugar.

However you make it, enjoy with your favourite tipple this Hogmanay. Or make it and take it as a gift when you first foot this year – it’s rich and compassionate  – no one will ever know. And what a great way to start Veganuary.

Ingredients

  • 175g plain flour
  • 55g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling on your cooked shortbread
  • 115g of soya or vegetable spread, chilled and cubed
  • 1/2tsp of strawberry flavouring (optional)

The trick to a good shortbread is light on the handling, slow on the baking.

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 150 degrees centigradeIMG_3424.JPG
  • In a bowl mix the flour, sugar and flavouring (if using) together
  • Add the chilled spread and rub in before lightly mixing into a soft dough
  • Turn out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to desired thickness (between 1 and 3cm thick)
  • Because this particular batch is for Hogmanay, I used large number cookie cutters to create 2016 out of the dough – this was 1cm thick, where the rounds picture above were 3cm thick
  • Place on a non stick tray and bake in the centre of the oven between 20 and 45 minutes depending on the thickness and size of the shortbread biscuits – the shortbread should be firm to the touch and just coloured
  • Place on a wire cooling tray and sprinkle with caster sugar while still warm or wait until cooled and top with icing or chocolate.

I’m intending on serving these shortbread biscuits with a strawberry and chocolate mousse – recipe to follow tomorrow, however if you want to prepare in advance, you’ll need silken tofu, cocoa powder, agave or maple syrup and frozen strawberries.

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