Friday, April 1, 2022

Red Velvet Shortbread

I can never say no to red velvet anything - and these cut out cookies have all the flavour of the cake in a portable form! The vibrant colour and burst of flavour comes from Lorann Oils Red Velvet Emulsion, coupled with the tang from vegan cream cheese and a dash of red wine vinegar.

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In the four weeks spanning between my mom's birthday and my sister's birthday, we do a lot of red velvet. And by we, I (of course) mean me! It's really hard to beat the complex flavour that goes into a well made red velvet cake, but I've had success with cookies in the past and decided to try my hand at a type of shortbread. These cookies are tender but not chewy, and have the perfect amount of tang which is something that can be hard to find with these bakes. The colour (and some of the flavour) comes from my favourite "cheat" product, an emulsion-style flavouring for baking from Lorann Oils. It's dark red and smells like red velvet cake batter (and stains everything, so be warned).

I was actually pleasantly surprised with the texture of these cookies, given that I used a mix of fats, including a melted fat, melted chocolate and no eggs. I'm used to shortbread as a 4 ingredient, butter forward kind of cookie, but I (and my family) enjoyed these just as much. I was feeling fancy this week, so I decided to keep these cookies red carpet worthy with gold sanding sugar, nonpareils and silver stars. I'm not a fan of royal icing (and who has that kind of time these days?) so the sprinkles were a quick and easy fix that even my finicky niece liked.

That said - if you don't like sprinkles, they're great as is, with royal icing, or made into decadent sandwiches with cream cheese frosting! Hear me out - cream cheese frosting sandwiches with these, frozen, are the ice cream sandwich you didn't know you needed. Yes, it's decadent, but who needs an excuse to indulge now and then?

Note: I have made these with vegan butter (Earth Balance and Becel sticks) and vegan cream cheese (Follow Your Heart) and it worked beautifully!

Red Velvet Shortbread

Makes ~18
Adapted from Created by Diane
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp egg replacer powder (I used homemade)
1 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (optional, can use 2 tbsp hot chocolate mix)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

  1. Melt together the butter and chocolate in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Cream the shortening, cream cheese and sugar until just combined.
  3. Add egg replacer powder, water, red velvet emulsion, vanilla, vinegar, cocoa, protein powder and melted chocolate mixture.
  4. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt, until a dough forms a ball. It shouldn't be overly sticky or fluid, but should make a ball when squeezed together.
  5. Form into a rectangle on a piece of waxed paper, cover and let rest 1 hour in the fridge.
  6. Roll out the dough (I prefer between sheets of plastic wrap) and cut out desired shapes. Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and decorate with sprinkles (if not frosting with royal icing).
  7. Heat the oven to 400F.
  8. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool completely on the sheet.

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