When I can’t sleep, I count cookies—well, sort of. Actually I plan what I am going to cook the next day and brainstorm about new recipes. I find nothing more relaxing than being in the kitchen fully immersed in a project, so when I am struggling with a slight case of insomnia, even thinking about cooking can help my mind focus its way to sleep. Full disclosure, I typed the first draft of this post in bed after an hour of tossing and turning.
I have always been a fan of shortbread cookies. From their crumbly consistency to their buttery bite, I never can eat just one. When I saw this recipe for vegan almond shortbread, I knew I had to give it a try. Coconut oil instead of butter? Could it be possible to bake good shortbread substituting the key ingredient? Yes! They were so delicate they had to be stored in the fridge, but I loved how intensely nutty these fragile cookies turned out.
Vegan Almond Shortbread
Adapted from Food & Wine March 2016
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup smooth unsalted roasted almond butter
1/2 cup refined coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment.
Toast the sliced almonds in the oven until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, almond meal and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the almond butter, coconut oil, both sugars and vanilla extract until fully combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the dry ingredients and chopped almonds.
Place 2-tablespoon-size mounds spaced 1 inch apart on the prepared sheet pan. Flatten the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.