Saturday, December 30, 2017

Allergy-Friendly Shortbreads

Why is this shortbread cookie smiling? He's both gluten free and vegan, and tastes divine!

Allergy-Free Shortbread

While I'm glad to see 2018 arrive, the end of December is always a bittersweet time for my sister and I. Every year, my mom donates exactly one month to shortbread cookie baking, and once January 1 rolls around we pack up the cookie cutters and sprinkles for another year. While we gripe and complain about the dearth of melt-in-your-mouth, buttery goodies the rest of the year, I can appreciate that the adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" really holds true in this case.

Alas, not everyone on my gift list is able to appreciate such decadent cookies. I speak of course of my friends with Celiac and food allergies - namely dairy, nut, soy and egg. The original cookie contains a short list of ingredients - flour, butter, icing sugar, egg yolk and vanilla - so finding workarounds that didn't compromise the pure flavour of the originals was tricky. Most margarine contains either dairy or soy (or both), and while I do have a recipe for a vegan "egg yolk" substitute I needed something quick and easy. I eventually settled on my Homemade Egg Replacer powder, which worked well and kept the cookies' tender qualities due to it's starch component. For the "butter", I went with a new-to-me vegan spread that was also soy-free: MELT. Usually I would stay far, far away from "spreads" in cookies like this, but the result was far better than I supposed and the cookies didn't have any lingering taste of coconut (the main ingredient). 

The great thing about this dough is that it freezes well too, so I made a full batch and divided it into thirds (one for each recipient). I got about 10 cookies per mini-batch, which I either decorated with chocolate or painted with food colouring.

Do you have a special holiday-only cookie? Let me know in the comments!

Allergy-Friendly Shortbreads
Makes ~30
1 cup MELT Organic Vegan Spread (or your favourite vegan butter)
1/2 tbsp Homemade Egg Replacer powder
1 tbsp gluten free vanilla
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 cup Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend
  1. Heat the oven to 325F and line cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the vegan spread, egg replacer powder and vanilla until fluffy.
  3. Sift in the icing sugar, followed by the flour blend. Stir to make a smooth dough.
  4. Cover loosely and let rest 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out between sheets of wax paper and cut into desired shapes.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles or sanding sugar if desired (alternatively you can decorate with melted chocolate or royal icing after baking).
  7. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 18 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 84.7
Total Fat: 5.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 46.3 mg
Total Carbs: 9.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.7 g