Gluten free, vegan shortbread

One thousand and one apologies for going a little quiet on the blogging front for the past few weeks. The irony is I don't know if I've ever been cooking, baking, concocting and sampling more! My laptop's bookmarks are now just full of vegan holiday recipes, while my camera has taken on an extra layer of icing sugar dust that won't budge. However, while the baking subsides a little I will be posting plenty of Christmas and winter solstice recipes here.

First up is this vegan, gluten free shortbread recipe- this would be perfect to make for any gluten free-friends you have as a homemade present, or even to have ready to stack up at your desk to try and speed up those last few days of work (and how they drag!!)

I adapted this recipe from an American one I found by Char's Kitchen. I chose to use Doves Farm Gluten Free bread flour as it comes with Xanthan Gum in the blend, which you need for this recipe. If you have a preferred GF flour then just use that but with 1/2tsp Xanthan Gum to every cup of flour.

NB: The photos here of the finished biscuits are just half the final batch.

340g vegan margarine/butter such as Vitalite
About 2/3 cup of icing sugar
2 cups of Doves Farm Gluten Free White Bread Flour (plus about another cup for rolling and dusting the biscuits)

Cream together the margarine and sugar, then sift in the flour and mix until the mixture is fluffy.
Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This helps the flour firm up a bit and makes it much easier to cut out shapes like hearts and rabbits, as otherwise the mixture does break easily.

Once the mix has chilled, pre-heat the oven to around 175 degrees Celsius. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and add more flour to knead. It will feel quite soft at first but add a little more flour at a time until it goes a little firmer.

When you're happy with the texture, roll out into around 1cm thickness and cut out with biscuit cutters. Use a spatula to transfer the biscuits to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Bake for around 10 minutes- you want the biscuits to stay pale and not colour. Move to a baking tray and allow to cool for 10 minutes, when they will also harden.