Enter Valentines Day and my standard chocolate (of course) shortbread cookies. Making the switch from the traditional full-of-butter version was as simple as subbing in vegan butter. Using one of the Queens of Chocolate, Maida Heatter’s, recipe for Chocolate Scotch Shortbread Cookie I was off to the races and haven’t looked back since.
This recipe is quick and simple and yields 35-40 delectable cookies full of shortbread goodness. I use a food processor, which makes it so easy to mix it all up. Can also be made mixing on a board with bare hands or using an electric mixer. The directions that follow are for using a food processor.
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup shifted cocoa powder
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 lb (2 sticks) vegan butter (I use Earth Balance) - firm and cold out of the refrigerator
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Fit the food processor with a steel blade and place the dry ingredients in the bowl. Cut the cold butter into 1/2” slices over the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla. Cover and process until the ingredients hold together.
If the dough isn’t perfectly smooth, place on a smooth work surface and knead briefly with the heel of your hand.
Form the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Use flour sparingly to keep the dough from sticking to the surface and rolling pin.
Flour a smooth surface and roll the dough until 1/2” thick, being sure to make it same same thickness all over.
Using your cookie cutter (heart shaped for Valentine’s Day!) cut the cookies as close to each other as possible and place 1” apart on an unbuttered cookie sheet.
Each cookie should be pierced three times in a vertical row in the middle with the times of a 4-proged fork, piercing all the way through each cookie.
Press together leftover scraps of dough, reflour if needed, and reroll the dough.
Bake for 20-35 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Watch them carefully - they can become bitter before you know it unless you check them often.
Cool on a rack.