Monday, 29 January 2018

Two-Tone Shortbread Biscuits (Vegan)

These fun two-toned shortbread biscuits are flavoured with strawberry and vanilla.  This vegan shortbread recipe is perfect for so many people including those who follow a dairy-free diet.  Their heart shape makes them perfect for Valentine's Day, but the idea also lends itself to children's parties, bake sales, picnics and general yummy home baking!  
How to make two-tone vegan shortbread biscuits.  These are flavoured with vanilla and strawberry, and their heart shape makes them perfect for Valentine's Day.

Today I bring you a vegan shortbread recipe which is cut into heart shapes in the hope that it's not too soon to start thinking about Valentine's day!

 

 

How to make Two-Toned Shortbread Biscuits.


These shortbread biscuits are made that little bit more special, and of course more yummy, thanks to the two-toned effect which happens to be super easy to do!  It's simply a case of using two cookie cutters, one larger than the other.  The smaller cookie cutter is used to cut an aperture / window from the larger biscuit, which is then filled with contrasting dough cut to the same size.  The seam of the two doughs 'fuse' together during the bake.  It really is as simple as that!


Valentine Shortbread cookies, shaped in a heart with a pretty pink strawberry icing which is naturally coloured with jam.

Our Two-Toned Biscuits are made with two shortbread doughs.  One is flavoured with vanilla extract and the other with freeze dried strawberries and a little strawberry jam, the latter bringing a subtle and natural colour variation.  The freeze dried strawberry pieces, bought from our local Sainsburys supermarket, were the perfect way to introduce flavour and colour to the vegan shortbread biscuits.  It remove the risk of introducing excess moisture, which would clearly be the risk with fresh strawberries, and it's also a much 'cleaner' flavour than so many of the artificial 'essences' available.  We've used these freeze dried strawberry pieces in many of our bakes with great success, such as this Strawberry and Basil Upside Down Cake (in fact, if you love upside down cakes you might also like to check our Chocolate Orange Upside Down Cake!)  As much as I love freeze dried strawberries, and raspberries for that matter, feel free to use a freeze dried powder if that's what you have available in your store cupboard (I must confess I've not tried it with the powder though I seen no reason why it wouldn't work).

Strawberry and Basil Upside Down Cake

There are so many ways that you could run with this two-tone biscuit idea, using which ever biscuit cutters you have at home, or why not make a stencil from card to carefully shape your biscuits if you're working on a specific theme.  I've clearly gone down the Valentine route, though I see no reason why these heart shaped vegan shortbread biscuits can't be baked for other occasions, they'd be perfect to mark an anniversary or a child's birthday for instance.  
    
How to make shortbread biscuits with two colours


How to make Homemade Shortbread Biscuits

 

Shortbread biscuits are certainly one of my preferred biscuits.  Their short, crumbly and such a treat!  Although shortbread biscuits are incredibly easy to make, it's probably worth while noting a couple of points.
  • Basic shortbread biscuits contain just three ingredients, fat, sugar and flour measured to a ratio of 1 part sugar, 2 parts fat and 3 parts flour (in the recipe below a third of that flour is made up with cornflour to bring extra lightness to the biscuit).   Extras can be added such as chocolate chips, lemon zest, vanilla extract and so on.
  • Without a doubt the main reason why people love shortbread biscuits so much, is due to the buttery short texture.  By short, I mean crumbly and melt in the mouth.  This is achieved by limiting the handling of the shortbread dough.  Over handling will result in the 'short' quality being lost and the biscuits becoming a little tough.  For this reason, re-roll the off cuts just once will help.
  • Shortbread biscuits are easy to 'veganise'.  The butter simply needs to be replaced with a vegetable spread which is marked suitable for vegans.  We used a Stalk baking block for this recipe.      





So, here's how to make Two-Tone Shortbread (Vegan) with flavoured Strawberry & Vanilla.




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Two-Tone Strawberry & Vanilla Shortbread (Vegan)
These fun two-toned shortbread biscuits are flavoured with strawberry and vanilla.  This vegan shortbread recipe is perfect for so many people including those who follow a dairy-free diet.  Their heart shape makes them perfect for Valentine's Day, but the idea also lends itself to children's parties, bake sales, picnics and general yummy home baking! 

Details
Prep time: Bake time:     Yield: 12 large biscuits + several smaller biscuits

Specific Equipment
    Baking Tray(s)
    Greaseproof paper
    2 x Heart Shaped Biscuit Cutters (ours measured 4x4cm & 7x7cm)
    Piping Bag
Ingredients
For the Vanilla Shortbread Dough
  • 120g Dairy Free Spread
  • 60g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 120g Plain Flour
  • 60g Cornflour
  • 1 - 4 tsp Dairy Free Milk
For the Strawberry Shortbread Dough
  • 120g Dairy Free Spread
  • 60g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 30g Strawberry Jam (ideally a 'cheap' jam with few strawberry pieces)
  • 6g Freeze Dried Strawberries
  • 120g Plain Flour
  • 60g Cornflour
  • 1 - 4 tsp Dairy Free Milk
For the Pink Strawberry Icing
  • 40g Icing Sugar
  • 1tsp Strawberry Jam (ideally a 'cheap' jam with a few strawberry pieces)

Method
1. Prepare a baking sheet. Line a baking trays(s) with greaseproof paper, tacking down the corners with a little vegetable spread.2. Make the vanilla shortbread dough. Place the vegetable spread and sugar into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat again until well combined. Sieve the flour and corn flour into the mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix together, it can take a little while to combine the flours with the creamed fat mixture.  Add the milk a teaspoon at a time ONLY if you find the mixture not coming together. The dough shouldn't be sticky.  Once well combined use your hand to bring the dough together. Avoid over mixing and handling. 3. Wrap. Shape the vanilla dough into a ball. Flatten a little to a disc shape. Wrap in clingfilm. Set aside to rest.4. Make the strawberry shortbread dough. Place the vegetable spread and sugar into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until soft and fluffy. Add the strawberry jam (avoid adding any strawberry pieces if possible). Beat again. Add the freeze dried strawberry pieces. Beat again until well combined. Sieve the flour and corn flour into the mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix together.  As with the vanilla shortbread dough it can take a little time to combine the flour into the creamed mixture.  Add the milk a teaspoon at a time ONLY if you find the mixture not coming together.  The dough shouldn't be sticky.  Once well combined use your hand to bring the dough together. Avoid over mixing and handling. 5. Wrap. Shape the strawberry dough into a ball. Flatten a little to a disc shape. Wrap in clingfilm. Set aside to rest.6. Roll out the dough. Roll out the vanilla dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. You're aiming for it to be about 1cm thick. 7. Cut out the vanilla biscuits. Use the larger heart shaped biscuit cutter to cut the dough. Gently place the shortbread biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet. Gather together the dough offcuts and re-roll once only. Cut out more biscuits. 8. Cut out an aperture. Use the smaller heart shape biscuit cutter to carefully cut out a small heart from the centre of each of the larger hearts. Set the smaller hearts aside. 9. Roll out the strawberry dough. Roll out the strawberry dough between 2 more sheets of greaseproof paper. You're aiming for it to be about 1cm thick. 10. Cut out the strawberry biscuits. Use the larger heart shaped biscuit cutter to cut the dough. Gently place the shortbread biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet. Gather together the dough offcuts and re-roll once only. Cut out more biscuits. Use the small heart cutter to cut out a heart aperture. 11. Fill the apertures. Carefully place the small vanilla heart shapes into the strawberry shortbread apertures, and the small strawberry hearts into the vanilla biscuits.12. Chill. Place the baking sheet(s) into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 13. Preheat the oven to 170c/ 160 Fan/ 325F / Gas 3.14. Bake. Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the biscuits are turning slightly golden brown around the edge. Remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling. 15. Make the strawberry icings. Place the icing sugar into a bowl. Add a teaspoon of jam to the bowl (avoiding any strawberry pieces). Add half a teaspoon of water to the icing. Gently mix together, adding drips of water until it is a thick consistency that will pipe as a defined line without running. Mix well. Place the pink icing into an icing bag (no nozzle required, though use a small plain nozzle if you like).16. Decorate. Pipe a heart onto the cooled biscuits along the line where the two doughs meet. Add further decoration as you like. 17. Enjoy!
Notes: a) Avoid over handling the shortbread dough.  It is likely to turn tough and loose the 'short' quality if the dough is over handled and rolled out too many times.  For this reason re-roll the off cuts just once. This is also the reason why the two doughs are made separately.  b)  Before discarding the left over dough after the second rolling, cut small hearts from the dough to use it up.  Bake these for about 13-15 minutes.  c) Replace the greaseproof paper with fresh paper when rolling out the second batch of dough.  d) You may find it helpful to dip the cookie cutter in a little flour before cutting out the biscuits.  e)  Check your pack of dairy free spread is suitable for vegans, though if these shortbread biscuits are not for a vegan or somebody following a dairy-free diet you may prefer to use butter. 











Pin Two-Tone Shortbread (Vegan) with Strawberry & Vanilla for later!

How to make two-tone vegan shortbread biscuits.  These are flavoured with vanilla and strawberry, and their heart shape makes them perfect for Valentine's Day.




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13 comments:

  1. I am a HUGE fan of using freeze dried fruit in bakes. They are also amazing in frostings for a natural fruit kick.
    I love how these biscuits 'fuse' on baking. They sound delicious Angela x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I shall have to try them in frostings Kate - I'd not thought of that!
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. These look lovely Angela, my favourite are the ones made with the strawberry dough. Thank you for bringing these lovely sweet hearts to #CookBlogShare:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're more than welcome Monika, thankyou for hosting such a great linky with Kirsty, Eb & Jacqui,
      Angela x

      Delete
  3. I think these are so cute Angela! I love to make heart biscuits for Valentine's Day with freeze-dried strawberry pieces in. I need to try your recipe next time as I don't add any jam to my biscuit dough and would love to see if I can make them taste even more of strawberries x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Corina, I just love freeze dried fruits - they pack so much flavour :-) Because there's not too much jam in the dough it just really helps alter the colour of the dough in comparison to the vanilla shortbread dough :-)
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. These look so cute and love the flavours x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thakyou Cat, I think the Strawberry vibe is probably me looking forward to some warmer weather!!
      Angela x

      Delete
  5. So pretty and I love how the two tone effect is so simple to create, yet really effective - my kind of recipe!! Eb x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Eb, easy and effective (& yummy :-D)
      Angela x

      Delete
  6. I love these Angie! It's a great idea to use two doughs to make these two tone shortbread cookies! And these are so pretty too! Thanks for the detailed description..I am excited to try :)

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  7. Mega cute and love the strawberry flavoured cookie dough.So clever!Am def going to have a try.Presumably I can substitute like for like for non vegan?!xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny, yes of course it's just a classic shortbread recipe and the usual ratios so using butter rather than a vegan spread would be lovely.
      Angela x

      Delete

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