Very simple shortbread cookies that are perfect for Orthodox lent.
With these vegan shortbread cookies, what you see is what you get! We have lived the disappointment of using cookie cutters to shape cookies just the way we want them only to find that they have flattened, spread, or risen while baking. Cut out flowers, kittens and firetrucks end up looking like blobs. Still delicious, but blobs. Not these cookies! These cookies come out of the oven looking pretty much the way that they went in. No surprises!
Aside from being so reliable, these cookies are also super easy and vegan. They are therefore perfect for anyone who is fasting for Orthodox lent. Sweetened with maple syrup instead of the more typical granulated sugar you find in shortbread cookies, we might even go so far as to say that these cookies are healthy..ish. 🙂 So let’s get to baking!
Where can I get these Greek cookie cutters?
Aren’t they adorable? We received these cookie cutters from My Greek Home and we couldn’t be happier with them! They are just the right size and shape for perfect shortbread cookies, and their Greek words make them very special and perfect for Greek Easter.
We found that these cookie cutters work best when you dip them in a bit of flour before using them, particularly dusting the letters with flour – this helps to keep the dough from sticking to the cookie cutters.
We also played around with brushing some undiluted food colouring gel onto the letters on the cookie cutters prior to using them to cut out the cookies. This leaves the word imprints in colour and we think that this worked out really nicely.
Can I use regular butter for these vegan shortbread cookies?
You can! If you don’t need, or want, your cookies to be vegan or lenten then go ahead and use regular butter. All other ingredients and steps remain the same.
Can I decorate my vegan shortbread cookies?
Yes, you can let your imagination run wild! We chose to keep our cookies simple but you can certainly sprinkle your unbaked cookies with sprinkles or coloured sugar. After baking your cookies you can add royal icing or even dipping them partially (or entirely) in chocolate or candy melts.
Want some more tips on how to keep your cookies from spreading?
Spreading cookies are sometimes more that simply a shortbread cookie problem. Sally from Sally’s Baking Addition has written a lovely article on why this happens and how to prevent it – you can read her article here.
Looking for more lovely cookie recipes? Check these out!
We love hearing from you! If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!, please leave a comment below!
Vegan shortbread cookies
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) non-dairy butter, room temperature you can use softened coconut oil instead
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup
- 2 1/4 cup (335 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or another large bowl if using a hand held mixer) beat the non-dairy butter or coconut oil until creamy and soft.
- Next add the maple syrup, vanilla powder and salt and mix until well combined.
- Add in the flour and beat at medium speed until well incorporated. You will note that the dough is crumbly.
- Using your hands, knead the dough until it comes together and you are able to form the dough into two balls. The dough should not be too sticky, but should stick together when you press it together. If the dough is too dry you can add a little more maple syrup (1/2 tbsp at a time). If the dough is too wet, you more flour, 1 tbsp at a time).
- Wrap each of these 2 balls of dough in plastic wrap and flatten them into discs. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take one disc of dough out of the fridge at a time and roll between two pieces of parchment paper, or between two pieces of plastic wrap until you have a thickness of approximately 1/2 inch.
- Use your cookie cutters to cut out your cookie shapes and transfer to the baking tray. Repeat until you have used all the dough. (You will have to gather your dough and roll it out again several times as you shape your cookies). Decorate if desired (See Recipe Note).
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for approximately 12 minutes. Note that your cookies will get a light golden brown underneath but with otherwise not change colour too much. As well, they will not change shape or rise during baking.
- Allow to cool on the baking tray for about 2 minutes and then transfer carefully to a cookie rack until completely cooled.