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The Best Vegan Shortbread Cookies Ever

Nothing screams Christmas to me quite like baking shortbread cookies and singing along with Dean Martin to Christmas songs.

Traditional Christmas cookies usually come in the form of gingerbread or sugar cookies, but in my house, it's all about the shortbread. This is probably because of how I grew up.

I spent 99.9% of my childhood baking in the kitchen with my grandma, and they were the happiest times of my life (it had nothing to do with eating raw cookie dough when my grandma left the room, I swear). We would bake a lot of chocolate chip cookies (because kid), oatmeal cookies (because fiber), and of course, my pride and joy, shortbread cookies (because yum). My grandma used to put the chunks of mixed glace fruit right in the center, although it's something I have since omitted from her recipe because .. well .. I don't like them. Shortbread cookies don't need your help, fruit.

As a kid, I only got shortbread cookies at Christmas, and they went fast. But as an adult, I get the special privilege of making shortbread cookies whenever the heck I please. When I went vegan, veganizing my grandma's shortbread cookie recipe was easy, but I wasn't sure how they'd turn out.

In case you're wondering, I think the vegan version tastes way better than the non-vegan version (sorry, grandma, but you taught me well).

They're rich, they're buttery, they're crumbly and soft, they keep well, and they're just the best dang thing since sliced bread. They do require a little more work than other cookies in terms of chilling and rolling, but I promise you, it'll be worth it when everyone is asking you for the recipe.

You Will Need:

✓ 1 & 1/2 cups of room temperature vegan margarine (Earth Balance, or Becel also makes a vegan margarine) ✓ 1 cup white sugar (extra for sprinkling) ✓ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ✓ 3 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ✓ 1/4 teaspoon salt

(Additional optional toppings: melted chocolate on half is always a favourite; mixed glace fruit; sprinkles)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer or a fork, mix together the margarine and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined.

3. Add the vanilla. Just mix.

4. In a different bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the margarine-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low until the dough starts to come together. If the dough is too crumbly, add a tablespoon or so of melted margarine to help the dough come together.

5. Dust your counter with flour. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on the floured surface, and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take this time to sing some Christmas music! I recommend Santa Baby, Baby It's Cold Outside, or Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire!

6. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter (or use a bent egg mold, like me - crafty!). We used to just roll them into balls and shape them into cookie shapes, but I've fancied up my cookie game a wee bit since then, & now I use an egg mold bent into the shape of a rectangle. So fancy!

7. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with sugar.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.

9. Allow to cool to room temperature, and then store in an air-tight container on the counter for several days.

Did you try this recipe? Let us know how you liked them!

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