These vegan shortbread cookies are worth getting excited about. While not traditional holiday cookies, they always seems so festive to me with their green and red flecks. I like to think of them as a Christmas cookie's sophisticated older cousin - more than appropriate for a holiday party, but classy any time of the year.
Table of Contents
- both soft and chewy in the best kind of way
- easy to slice and bake
- great for holiday or hostess gifts
- versatile and adaptable - switch up the nuts or the dried fruit for other flavor combos
- Pecans - you will want to toast these which will intensify their nutty flavor.
- Vegan butter, softened - if you're anything like me and never remember to take butter out of the fridge several hours before baking, then here's a shortcut for you. Place on a plate in the microwave and zap for 30 seconds at 30% power. For 2 sticks you may need to do this twice to get the right consistency. The 30% power is important otherwise you'll just melt your butter and that won't work for this recipe.
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour (250g) **see notes
- Fresh rosemary - if you don't have fresh rosemary then skip it completely because dried rosemary won't work for this recipe. These will still taste amazing.
- Dried sweetened cranberries - These should be finely chopped
Step By Step Instructions
Start by toasting the pecans in a dry non-stick pan set over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir and toss them around often to avoid burning them. They should darken a bit and start to smell nice and toasty. Wait until they cool down enough to touch and them chop them into small pieces.
Finely chop the rosemary and dried cranberries. These should be cut pretty small so that there aren't huge chunks in the cookies.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer for 1-2 minutes until it's nice and smooth.
Add in vanilla, water and salt to combine.
With the mixer on low speed, add in just 1 cup of the flour until it's incorporated. Then stop and scrape down the side of bowl before added the last 1 cup of flour.
Be careful not to overwork the dough. Once the flour is added, mix just until incorporated.
After adding the rosemary, pecans and cranberries set the mixer to stir/low until they are mixed throughout the dough.
On a lightly flour surface, shape the dough into a roll approximately 10" long by 2" wide and then cover with plastic wrap or put into an airtight container (you mat need to cut log in half to do this). Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or longer.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and cut into ½" slices.
Optionally at this step you can roll the log in a mixture of very finely chopped pecans and coarse sugar before cutting.
Consistency in the thickness of the cookie slices is important so that they cook uniformly. If you don't have a way to measure this, make your best guess at ½" and then use the first cookie to measure out the rest of them. At least this way all your cookies will be the same thickness. However, you may need to adjust baking time depending on how thick they are.
Place cookies 1" apart on baking sheets lined with a silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
Bake for 9 minutes and then flip the pan around 180 degrees and bake another 8 minutes until the edges start to brown. The top of the cookies will still seem soft.
After they are completely cooled, these vegan shortbread cookies will last several days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
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