There are a lot of things I miss not being able to eat when I go home to the UK; scones at Betty’s, roast beef sandwiches and Guinness are just a few. I miss these not because I want to eat them, really, but because of the memories they hold for me, and because of the experiences that I remember with every bite.
Shortbread, for me, brings memories of holidays in Scotland and visits to Edinburgh, or Christmas boxes of Walkers that last about 6 minutes in our household. The buttery goodness, the hint of vanilla, the inescapable sugar high…I love it all.
I was so glad, then, to figure out that vegan shortbread is just as good as the real thing–and ridiculously easy to make. You can make these with any margarine, but in the interests of health (I know, I know…fat, sugar and flour, they can’t be that healthy) I recommend a non-hydrogenated type like the wonderful Earth Balance.
(Makes 10-16 shortbreads)
1 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (like Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar (granulated or icing sugar)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius
Grease an 8×8 baking tray
Cream the butter and the sugar together until they’re thick and creamy
Stir in the vanilla extract
Stir in the flour a cup at a time to make a moist dough
(If your dough is too dry, add a tiny splash of almond milk to bring it to the right consistency)
Flatten the dough into the baking tray and make lines of fork pricks, if you want them super traditional
Bake for 20 minutes
Allow to cool, then cut into fingers
The best way to enjoy these is with a cup of tea (or, to be a heathen, coffee) and over some good conversation. They’re crumbly, delicious, and each bite contains memories or green hills and happy times. The best kind of treats.