These pretty vegan shortbread biscuits are the perfect Valentine's gift for the vegan in your life. They're free from eggs and dairy and are easy to make and taste delicious.
What is shortbread and how do you make it vegan?
Shortbread is a traditional type of biscuit, or cookie, that originates in Scotland.
It is crumbly, rich in taste and creamy in colour. Most shortbread is made with butter, flour and sugar.
I've used dairy free spread - or vegan butter - instead of dairy butter to make my shortbread cookie suitable for vegans.
I've also added ground almonds to the shortbread dough for extra taste.
Make sure your sprinkles are 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 include:
- E120 - cochineal or carmine (which comes from crushed beetles)
This is just a few of the more common animal 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.
How to make vegan shortbread hearts
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Vegan shortbread hearts
- 100 g plain flour
- 75 g ground almonds
- 75 g caster sugar
- 100 g vegan butter chilled
- 6 g freeze dried raspberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 g icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoon water
- Vegan heart sugar decorations
- Mix together 100g plain flour, 75g ground almonds and 75g caster sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub in 100g vegan butter with your finger tips (or in a food processor) until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Stir in a 6g pot of freeze dried raspberries and 1 teaspoon 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 250g icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Stir in up to 3 tablespoon 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.
- 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.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide only.
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*Disclaimer: 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. Read my full disclosure.