Christmas in our house when I was a kid meant homemade shortbread. Delicious, buttery and very very decadent. I still love a little treat like this over the holidays and have found a great vegan version (for those who are plant-based fans). It's a little lighter than the traditional one mum made but it's a winner in our house and the citrus flavours add a summer vibe. No doubt lemon would also do the job nicely.

 

 
INGREDIENTS
 
Orange Coconut Shortbread
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or cold coconut oil for a more coconutty taste)
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon 
  • 1/2 cup coconut (toasted)
  • Orange Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  •  

    METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line a 20cm baking pan with baking paper or lightly grease.
    2. Spread the coconut in an even layer on a small tray and bake for approx 4 minutes, stir well and then toast for another 4 minutes. Let cool completely.
    3. In a large bowl, beat the almond butter and sugar for 1 minute until creamed together.
    4. Add the orange juice, zest and coconut extract. Mix well.
    5. Add the flours, toasted coconut, baking powder, and salt and beat until just combined.
    6. Form dough in a ball and set it in the center of the lined baking tray. Press out dough evenly in pan.
    7. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
    8. Let cool for 5 or so minutes. Carefully remove the shortbread from the pan  Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the shortbread into 8 equal wedges.
    9. Let the shortbread cool completely.
    10. Whisk all the ingredients for the glaze and pour evenly over cooled shortbread, letting the glaze drip down the sides of each piece.
    11. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days or in the refrigerator up to 7 days.
     
     
    SUPER HANDY HINTS
     

    Coconut catches really quickly when you are toasting it. Keep a close eye on it.
    If you like a more textured shortbread change the 1:1 ratio of plain flour to rice flour using more rice flour as it is 'grittier'.

    Like smooth shortbread? Just use plain flour.

    It's easier to cut the shortbread while it's warm. If you wait until it cools, it is more likely to crumble.