When all said and done, there’s not much that competes with a shortbread biscuit. So much so that it can, and often is, rightfully considered a household staple. Rather sadly, I’ve now taken too much interest in nutrition to fully enjoy the classic all-butter, all-sugar version on an everyday basis… (only fairly often). After now having also imparted some of this interest on my sweet-toothed mum as well, she asked me to create a healthier biscuit alternative for her, and I felt it only fair to oblige so that she need never go a day without one. Unapologetically there is still some butter in there – it simply wouldn’t be a shortbread without it – however it’s such a relatively small amount that it really does no harm, and the agave syrup gives them all the sweetness they need. Whilst I detest the use of words like “guilt” and “naughty” when it comes to food, if you are that way inclined it could certainly be said that these modified shortbreads can be enjoyed wholly “guilt-free”, and are really a pretty “well-behaved” choice of accompaniment to your afternoon cup of tea.
- 50g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2.5 tablespoons agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g brown rice flour
- 50g cornflour
- Good pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut powder or desiccated coconut (or a mix)
- 2 teaspoons lemon rind
- In a large bowl blend together the butter and coconut oil. Mix in the agave syrup and vanilla.
- Add in the rest of the dry ingredients to form a dry dough.
- Add in the lemon rind, using your hands to press it into the dough.
- Form dough into a rough rectangle and place onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Roll it up into a fat sausage and chill – 1 hour in the fridge, or if you are impatient like me, 20 minutes in the freezer does the job, too.
- Heat the oven to 180ºc.
- Take the dough and slice it up into rounds; for a hard, crunchy biscuit cut it about 8mm-1cm thick, and for a softer, more cookie-like result, cut it thicker.
- Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. If you like, top with extra coconut.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until the tops begin to turn golden.
- Leave to cool completely to crisp up.