Shortbread cookies are a great holiday cookie but they can be a challenging baked good to make gluten free and vegan. Gluten free dough can be a challenge to work with as it is notorious for being very sticky. With a bit of patience and lots of extra gluten free flour to dust on your work surface, you’ll be good to go with this recipe!
Also, while butter is a main ingredient for most shortbread recipes, I have recently discovered Becel’s Vegan Margarine. This stuff is very easy to work with and makes a perfect substitute for any recipe calling for butter or margarine.
Finally, sifting flour is a new technique (well not new to the baking world, just to my baking), I’ve started using. The benefits are noticeable as the final product results in a lighter texture, which is a big benefit when baking gluten free. While I don’t have an actual sifter, I use a sieve and shake the flour through once or twice. You’ll notice that the flour ends up nice and fluffy.
Without further adieu, here is my shortbread cookie recipe!
- 1 cup vegan margarine (I like using Becel Vegan)
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 1 tsp xantham gum
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tsp unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tsp vegan margarine
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- food colouring – I used a natural food dye make from beets (yes beets!), which makes a great pink or red. Click here for the recipe.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
- Beat margarine until soft and creamy.
- Take out two large mixing bowls. Combine remaining dry ingredients together in one of the mixing bowls and using a sieve, sift ingredients twice (from one mixing bowl to another).
- Slowly mix dry ingredients into the margarine using a wooden spoon or spatula. Once you can no longer mix it well, transfer dough to a well (gluten free) floured surface and knead until well mixed.
- Roll out dough to about 1/4″ to 1/3″ thickness using a well floured rolling pin.
- Use cookie cutters to make shapes out of dough and gently transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.*
- Bake cookies for approximately 10 – 12 minutes (don’t let them brown) and let cool on cookie sheets before icing them.
- Use a mixer to mix powdered sugar and milk. Beat in margarine and vanilla until smooth. You may need to add a bit more almond milk to make your icing smooth.
- Add food colouring or separate into different bowls to make different colours.
- Frost your shortbread cookies and get creative! This is a great time to get your kids involved!
*I found it difficult to get the dough off of my work surface so I used a large knife with some flour and glided the knife under each cookie to pull it up. Worked like a charm!