If your vegan and gluten-free lifestyle has kept you from sinking your teeth into a splendiferously iced holiday cookie, stop what you’re doing right now and make our vegan, gluten-free iced holiday shortbread cookies — adapted from Blissful Basil.
Let’s face it: Shortbread cookies are a must-eat for the holidays, but conventional shortbread cookies — made with both butter and flour — are off limits if you’re vegan and gluten-free. Well, we’ve crafted a deliciously irresistible iced Christmas cookie that you can joyfully devour. Shortbread cookies with no butter and flour? Yes, and even your most dedicated traditional shortbread-loving friends will gobble them up.
The trick to making unbelievably good shortbread cookies without the classic ingredients is a perfectly formulated combination of oat flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. The resulting vegan, gluten-free dough bakes up just as melt-in-your-mouth amazing as classic shortbread dough. Once the cookies are baked, you can festively decorate them to your heart’s content with our vegan royal icing.
The traditional royal icing is made with powdered sugar and egg whites, which are a no-no for a vegan diet. Our vegan royal icing is made with powdered sugar and aquafaba.
What is aquafaba? This ingenious vegan baking ingredient is the viscous liquid that legumes are soaked or cooked in. Basically, it is the liquid you’ve been draining out of canned chickpeas and dumping down the sink. Aquafaba perfectly mimics the functional properties of eggs and can be successfully used for egg-free baking, making meringues, or whipping up your own marshmallows. Who knew? We love aquafaba because this vegan-friendly egg-replacement is a staple in the kitchen — no pricey specialty ingredient necessary. Now that you’re in the know, you can tell all your non-vegan friends that if they run out of eggs while baking, aquafaba can come to the rescue.
In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, coconut flour, and sea salt. Set aside.
Mix wet ingredients together
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Blend the dry and wet ingredients
In three equal additions, slowly add the dry ingredients to the coconut oil mixture, blending well after each addition until no dry ingredients are visible in the dough. Let the dough sit, stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes to thicken.
Refrigerate the dough
Gather up the dough and form into a flattened disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The dough will become crumbly if refrigerated for too long, so plan to make the cookies shortly after it chills.
Make the cookies
Cut the dough into two equally-sized pieces and knead each piece to slightly warm it. It should resemble chilled Play-Doh. Working with one piece of dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out on a surface dusted with oat flour until it is a 1/4-inch thick oval. Use cookie cutters to punch out cookies. Carefully transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake the cookies at 350F for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the vegan royal icing
This yummy icing is made with powdered sugar, vanilla, and aquafaba — the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat aquafaba on medium speed for 3 minutes or until foamy and frothy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar and beat on low to incorporate it into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 5 to 7 minutes or until stiff peaks hold. While beating the icing, use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Pipe icing on the cookies
Fit a piping bag with a tiny tip. Fill the bag with the royal icing. Frost each cookie by piping a line around the edges and then fill in, or flood, the icing inside the line. Use a toothpick or pick to evenly spread the icing, if needed.
Apply sprinkles while the icing is still wet. Allow the icing to dry for 1 hour or until it is set. Serve.
A cookie everyone can enjoy!
A beautiful platter!
No one would even know these are vegan and gluten-free
Vegan, gluten-free iced holiday shortbread cookies
2 cups oat flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted*
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Vegan Royal Icing
3 ounces aquafaba (the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1 to 3 teaspoons water, as needed
In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, coconut flour, and sea salt. Set dry ingredients aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three equal batches. Blend until fully incorporated and no visible signs of flour remain in the dough.
Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes to thicken, stirring once or twice. The dough will be soft and slightly spongy.
Gather up the dough and form it into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Note: If the dough is overchilled, it may become crumbly.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unwrap dough and cut it into 2 equal-sized pieces. Knead each piece to warm it to the right texture (it will resemble chilled Play-Doh).
Lightly dust a baking area workspace with oat flour and use a rolling pin to roll 1 of the pieces of dough into a 1/4-inch-thick oval.
Using cookie cutters, punch out pieces of dough and carefully transfer to prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden at the edges.
Transfer baked cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare the vegan royal icing:
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat aquafaba on medium speed until foamy and frothy, about 3 minutes
Beat in vanilla extract.
Add powdered sugar and mix on very low speed until fully incorporated. Then, turn mixer to high and continue beating for 5 to 7 minutes. Every few minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the ingredients. The icing will hold a stiff peak when finished.
Once the cookies have cooled, place frosting in a piping bag with a tiny tip.
Frost each cookie by piping a line around the edges, then fill in, or “flood,” with icing. Decorate cookies with holiday sprinkles while icing is still wet. Allow icing to dry for 1 hour, or until set.
Serve right away or store cookies for up to 1 week.