Holiday Shortbread: 3 Ways

Folks, it is December already. Whew, that came quick! This, of course, is the time of year for baking (and eating) lots of wonderful goodies, including Christmas cookies! Although I have never been a huge fan of sweets, I do love me some shortbread. In the UK, shortbread are called “biscuits” and served commonly at breakfast and afternoon tea (for those who still take afternoon tea). This not-too-sweet cookie with a smooth flavor and crumbly texture pairs magnificently with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

I am sharing three variations of holiday shortbread: Lemon Lavender, Chocolate Peppermint and Maple Pecan. All three flavors can be made with coconut oil and/or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for dairy-free and/or gluten-free options. If making the dairy-free version, I recommend using a refined coconut oil instead of regular coconut oil. Refined coconut oil doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor. For the gluten-free flour, I recommend any good brand for baking. Personally, my favorite is King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour.

As an added bonus, these recipes are quick and easy to make and do not require rolling out or fancy cookie cutters. Once you make the dough, just roll into a log, refrigerate until solid, slice, and bake! You can even leave the dough in the fridge until you are ready to bake them. Easy, right?

Make one or all of these recipes to eat at home or share with friends and family. Bon appétit!

Short Bread Cookies_1.jpg

Lavender Lemon Shortbread

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature*
  • ¼ cup refined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon, about 2 teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1¼ cups all purpose wheat or gluten-free flour

*You want the coconut oil to be solid, but not too hard or it won’t whip well. If it’s very hard, set on stove top while oven is on to help soften a bit.

Instructions:

  1. Place coconut oil in medium-sized mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend until the consistency is smooth.
  2. Add sugar, salt, vanilla extract, lemon zest and water. Mix on high until everything is blended.
  3. Add flour and blend well. If the mixture is too thick to mix in the electric mixer, mix by hand with a wooden spoon. The end result should be thick, but not crumbly. If it is too dry, add a little water.
  4. Get a piece of wax paper about a foot long. Scoop dough onto the wax paper toward one side. Roll into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Roll wax paper around it (like a burrito!) and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. When dough is hard enough to cut with a knife, remove from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut log into ½ inch slices. Put cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on top rack for about 15 - 18 minutes, until cookies are just starting to golden, but are not too dark. Remove from the oven and transfer to rack to cool down.

Maple Pecan Shortbread

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup pecan pieces
  • 1⅓ cups all purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. Place coconut oil in medium-sized mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend until the consistency is smooth.
  2. Add maple syrup, salt, almond extract and pecan pieces. Mix on high until everything is blended.
  3. Follow instructions 3 - 5 from Lavender Lemon Shortbread recipe above. 

Peppermint Chocolate Shortbread

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely minced
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Place coconut oil in medium-sized mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend until the consistency is smooth.
  2. Add sugar, salt, peppermint extract and fresh mint. Mix on high until everything is blended.
  3. Follow instructions 3 - 5 from Lavender Lemon Shortbread recipe above.
  4. When the cookies have cooled, melt chocolate chips. (You can use the microwave or heat on the stove in a heat-safe bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.) Have parchment-lined baking sheet available. Dip half of cookie in chocolate and place on parchment paper. Allow chocolate to harden completely before attempting to move them (can place in freezer for 10 minutes to speed up the process). Carefully remove from parchment paper.