I have some friends who love shortbread so I thought I’d try to make some dairy-free, “healthier” shortbread for them. I’ve stuck with spelt flour here as it’s easier to work with than the gluten free flours but I may have a play around with gluten free blends later 🙂 This recipe was a little too sweet for my primary taster so if you don’t like things too sweet reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup. If you like things sweet then up the sugar to 3/4 cup 🙂
For my first attempt I used white spelt flour and olive oil, for my second batch I lowered the sugar to 1/3 cup and used wholewheat spelt flour and a mix of almond and hazelnut oil. I think I prefer this version – it’s nuttier and the wholewheat gives it a real crunch. It would be better with only almond oil I think but I didn’t have enough! 🙂
1 1/2 cups and 1 tbsp Spelt flour
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp Rice flour Rice Flour
1/2 cup Raw unrefined sugar (golden cane sugar or coconut palm sugar) (plus some to sprinkle on top)
1/8 tsp Himalayan rock salt
1/4 tsp Baking powder
2/3 cup Olive oil / Almond oil / Hazelnut oil Canola Oil – 2/3 cup (Or butter 5 1/2 Oz)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8″ sponge tin (or shortbread tin) with greaseproof paper. Put the sugar in a food processor and pulse until it’s more of a powder. Don’t worry too much if you can’t get it really powdery – just make sure it’s broken down a bit. Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and add the sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and vanilla extract, then combine well using a metal spoon. Keep going until you have a smooth dough then transfer it to the pan and press it down firmly. Using a fork make holes in the top and with a knife score the shortbread lightly into 8 segments. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar if using.
Place in the oven for 40 – 45 mins. Remove and allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then score it again. Take it out of the pan and break the wedges apart and leave to cool on a wire rack. Stored in an airtight container. It can also be wrapped in clingfilm and frozen at this stage – just make sure when you defrost it you defrost it on a wire rack, outside the container you froze it in.
These are perfect with a cup of coffee and also make a fab gift for Easter, Christmas or any time in fact! 🙂