Vegan shortbread is such an easy cookie recipe to bake. The gluten free version is just as stress-free and the flavours are virtually the same. The only slight difference is the cookie texture. It’s a little more ‘crispy’. I think this is due to the almond meal but hardly noticeable. This cookie is very fragrant in flavour and pairs well with rose herbal teas.
The four flavours in this recipe are Rosewater paired with Thyme for the cookie base. Lemon for the simple lemon buttercream icing. And pistachio which is crushed and sprinkled on top. These flavours all compliment each other to create a really lovely eating experience.
The flours used for the recipe are white rice flour, cornflour or cornstarch and almond meal. You shouldn’t have any issues getting these at your local supermarket as they are very common.
Here are a few tips when making this recipe:
1. Keep your butter and your hands cold and make sure you chill your dough. Don’t skip this step. It helps with the cutting out process and helps the cookies keep their shape.
2. The perfect thickness is 0.5 centimetres or 5 millimetres.
3. Know how strong your rosewater is. I find some brands are really strong and others are weak. You want to be able to taste the rosewater slightly at the end of eating the cookie.
Using a really high-quality lemon essence will help your buttercream sing and balance out the sweetness of the cookie.
Gluten Free Vegan Rosewater Thyme Shortbread
- 200 g white rice flour plus extra
- 100 g cornstarch or cornflour
- 50 g almond meal
- 250 g vegan butter or margarine cold and cubed
- 2 tbs rose water (more if your rosewater is weak, less if its super strong)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 80 g icing or powdered sugar
- 2.5 tbs lightly chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 100 g vegan butter or margarine
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp high quality lemon essence
- 1/2 tsp high quality vanilla bean paste
- vegan pink food colouring
- 1/2 cup crushed pistachios
To Make Cookies
- Sieve all flours and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add Thyme and mix through.
- Add cubed cold butter, rosewater and vanilla. Using your hands or a pastry cutter rub butter into flour until it becomes a soft dough ball. If it's too wet you can add more rice flour (not cornflour). If it's too dry add a tbs of water. ANOTHER OPTION - you can add all ingredients into a mix master with a paddle attachment and mix it together and create a ball
- Cover and chill in the fridge for around 30 mins or until dough starts to become stiff. Pre-heat your oven to 155C / 311F. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
- Roll dough out on a bench floured with rice flour to 5mm or 1/2 cm thick and cut with cookie cutter. I used a 6cm sized cutter. If the dough is still too mushy, chill it in the fridge for another 20 mins.
- Place cookies on the tray and bake for 25-27 minutes on the top rack of your oven. Check them at the 22 min mark. They will remain pale but go slightly brown on the bottom and around the edges. The tops should be firm. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before icing.
To Make Lemon Buttercream
- Using a hand mixer beat butter, icing sugar, lemon juice, lemon essence and vanilla together in a small mixing bowl, until completely smooth and creamy.
- Ice a small amount on top of each cookie and sprinkle with crushed pistachios and any leftover Thyme leaves.
Want normal shortbread? GO HERE