These vegan shortbread biscuits are dairy free and egg free and would make a perfect Valentine’s gift for the vegan in your life. They are easy to make, look really pretty and taste delicious.
What is shortbread and how do you make it vegan?
Shortbread is a traditional type of biscuit, or cookie, from Scotland. Shortbread is crumbly, rich in taste and creamy in colour. Most shortbread is made with butter, flour and sugar.
I’ve used dairy free spread instead of butter to make my shortbread cookie suitable for vegans. I’ve also added ground almonds to the shortbread dough for extra taste.
Are cake decorations vegan?
It’s really important to always check the ingredients as cake decorations and food colourings often contain animal-derived ingredients. Things to look out for are beeswax, E120 – cochineal or carmine (which comes from crushed beetles), gelatine and shellac. This is just a few of the more common ingredients – check this list for more details.
There are many vegan cake decorations on the market – it’s just worth spending a bit of time checking the ingredients before buying. Inconveniently for Valentine’s Day, red is one of the most common food colours to contain animal ingredients (cochineal).
For a more natural plant-based alternative I think freeze dried raspberries and strawberries look really pretty on vegan cakes and biscuits.
Here’s how to make vegan shortbread hearts for Valentine’s Day:
Make sure you leave enough time for the chilling stage when making these vegan shortbread biscuits. It really does help them to keep their shape.
Vegan shortbread hearts
- 100 g plain flour
- 75 g ground almonds
- 75 g caster sugar
- 100 g cold vegan butter
- 9 g pot of freeze dried raspberries
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g icing sugar
- 2-3 tbsp water
- Vegan heart sugar decorations
Mix together the flour, almonds and sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub in the vegan butter with your finger tips (or in a food processor) until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Stir in the raspberries and vanilla extract.
Knead together gently in the bowl with your hands until the mixture forms a soft dough.
Wrap in cling film and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Line two baking trays with greaseproof baking paper.
Dust a work surface with plain flour then roll out the dough and cut out heart shapes with a biscuit cutter.
Place on the prepared baking trays and chill in the fridge for a further 30 minutes. This helps them to keep their shape.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3.
Before baking prick each biscuit with a fork.
Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden.
Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
These biscuits are delicious un-iced but to make them even more special sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Stir in the water a little at a time until you have a slightly runny consistency. Pour into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Pipe a heart shape around the outside of the biscuit then fill in with the icing. Decorate with sugar hearts and allow to dry.
I created this vegan shortbread hearts recipe for Brighthouse, and it’s been published in their seasonal food journal, alongside lots of other delicious, seasonal recipes from food bloggers. Check out the seasonal food journal here.
More Valentine’s recipes
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