I’m British, and inherently a lover of sweet things, so I’m a big fan of the 2 or 3pm treat with tea or coffee. My work days are usually very busy, and when I’m slogging through my morning’s to-do list the very thought of the mid-afternoon highlight gets me through the tough first few hours. Shortbread, of course, is the king of the mid-afternoon treat set.
If you’re a regular visitor to the Everyday Veggie, then you’ll know that I’m pretty into shortbread. Quite massively into shortbread. It’s the beautiful simplicity of the stuff; just a few ingredients but so much flavour. There’s a reason that shortbread has been eaten in Scotland since the 12th Century, and that reason is that it is perfect in every way.
This recipe came after a flash of inspiration borne of seeing a bag of pistachios on sale for less than a dollar. The vague saltines of the pistachios plays off beautiful against the sweetness of the shortbread, and the subtle ginger glaze ties everything together to make a truly gorgeous little afternoon indulgence. It can also be ready to eat in just over half an hour, which is great if you’re having a bad day or some other treat-based emergency.
(Makes 12-16 pieces)
2/3 cup vegan margarine, like Earth Balance
1 1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
[splash of almond milk if necessary]
1/4 cup pistachios, ground roughly (in a food processor
1/4 cup almonds, ground roughly
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
drop of almond milk
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius and grease an 8×8 baking tray
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until very cream
Sift in the salt and flour, and mix until a stiff dough is formed. If your dough is a little too stiff, add in a splash of almond milk
Add in half the ground pistachios and almonds and stir until evenly distributed
Press the shortbread dough into a baking tray, then scatter the rest of the pistachios and almonds on top. Press them gently into the dough
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes
Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then turn out onto a clean surface and cut into 12-16 pieces
In a small bowl, mix together the icing sugar, ginger and enough almond milk to make a thick glaze, then drizzle it over the shortbread as shown in the picture
Enjoy with a tea or a coffee: Perfection.
These will keep gloriously in a cake tin or airtight tupperware box; don’t put them in the fridge, or they will dry out.
If you ever fancy having a tea party and being super fancy, this is a great recipe to start with. I’d also recommend a mini chocolately cake stack, some sort of dark chocolate truffle, and of course, scones.