Shortbread cookies are usually made with dairy butter, but these dairy-free and vegan shortbread cookies are close to the traditional ones. They are perfect for school lunches, after-dinner desserts, or anytime you want a sweet treat.
Even though they are easy, these cookies are also special enough for holidays and large family meals. If you are baking a batch of cookies for a gathering or cookie exchange, be sure to label these as dairy-free and vegan so they can be enjoyed by those who have a food intolerance or who make that dietary choice.
This recipe keeps it simple and you will just press the dough onto a baking sheet and cut it into bar cookies or squares after baking. This shape is easy to pack in tins or boxes to give as a gift or mail to distant friends and relatives.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the dairy-free soy margarine for about 3 to 4 minutes on a high-speed setting, or until "fluffy". Add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Add in the flour gradually, about 1/2 cup at a time, and then the salt, mixing until the mixture holds together as a soft dough.
Spread the batter onto the prepared sheet so that it is about 1 inch thick. (The dough will usually fit on about half of a baking sheet, but you can also use a 9-by13-inch casserole dish if you prefer.) Prick the surface lightly every few inches with a fork. Bake for about 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden brown.
Allow the shortbread to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes. While the shortbread is still in the pan, cut into bars about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long or even squares if you prefer that shape.
Let the cookies cool completely in the pan while it is resting on a wire cooling rack. Once cool, carefully remove the cookies from the pan.
Serve and enjoy!
Storing Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies
Dairy-free shortbread cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three weeks. Be sure to let the shortbread cookies cool before storing them. Metal containers will keep shortbread cookies crisper than plastic containers. If storing a large batch, layer the shortbread cookies between parchment paper.
Freezing and Refrigerating Shortbread Cookie Dough
Pack the shortbread cookie dough very tightly to ensure a more tender cookie. The dough can be refrigerated for up to a week and frozen for up to six weeks in an air-tight plastic container or freezer bag. Thaw in the container for 15 minutes at room temperature. Pack dough in containers, or shape slice-and-bake dough into logs or squares and wrap. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight before using.