So I managed to make some cinnamon shortbread without lighting my oven on fire. I swear I will eventually stop using that as an opening sentence.
I usually save baking shortbread for holiday festivities, as the rich treat is just that — rich. Butter and sugar in almost equal amounts make for a decadent treat. Add a few scoops of flour, and you have a flaky, crumbly, melt in your mouth delight.
Ever since December loomed near, I was hell-bent on creating a vegan version of shortbread using coconut oil. Although I occasionally bake with vegan margarines and butter, I much prefer to use a less processed oil like coconut oil.
My first trial resulted in this. The lesson? Don’t use a springform pan with teeny tiny holes around the edges. Use a baking pan. Problem solved.
You’ll need melted coconut oil, so depending on your climate and the temperature of your house, you may or may not need to nuke it in the microwave first. It’s cold here and my coconut oil is solid at room temperature. If yours is the same, just measure a heaping cup into a bowl and microwave for about a minute. By the time it melts down and has been transferred from cup to container to bowl, you’ll end up with one cup in volume.
Simply whisk together the dry ingredients, add the oil, and stir only slightly to maintain the flakiness. Shortbread is kind of like pie crust: the less you work with it, the better.
You can probably tell from the photos that I slightly over baked my shortbread. Oops. I was hoping for a springy top, but that didn’t happen. Since you will be leaving the shortbread in the pan for at least 30 minutes after baking (you need to do this so it doesn’t crumble when you slice), there’s a lot of post-oven baking that goes on.
Trust your instincts and leave the shortbread in the oven no longer than 40 minutes. I did about 45 and could have used 5 minutes less.
Cinnamon shortbread has a barely detectable coconut flavour, not overpowering at all so even if you don’t like coconut you’ll like this one. Just make sure to freeze some or give some to the neighbours, or you’ll be snacking all day like me. 🙂
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 heaping cup coconut oil, melted to yield 1 cup
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
- Add the coconut oil and stir until just combined. Do not over mix, this is the key to flaky shortbread.
- Dump the dough into the baking pan and press down with your hands to make an even layer. Prick the dough with a fork in a pattern (diagonal, circles, etc.)
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. Let the shortbread cool in the pan for 20 minutes before slicing into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife.
- Wait until the shortbread is completely cool before removing from the pan with a spatula. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Inspired by Cookie & Kate
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