For real I promise you and whomever you serve this to will have no idea that it's both dairy and gluten free.
It's impossible to tell.
The first time I had shortbread was also the first time I had a proper massage. My lovely friend got me a gift card to the Lush Spa in Manhattan an oh my god was it magic.
First, you walk through the Lush store filled with their signature third eye-opening scent. Then you walk up a cute little staircase to a GORGEOUS kitchen that feels like you're in the home of a faerie. Your massage therapist brings out a platter of lotion bars and lets you choose how you want to smell for the next three days. Then you are led into the themed rooms (I chose some nautical type of massage) where the music is set to your massage- the aromas transport you to dreamtime. I actually felt like I was on a boat somehow.
I did not expect to feel so completely stoned from a massage. The room was spinning, my legs were soooo heavy and I felt like I was a cloud. After you wipe your drool off the massage table they lead you back to the faerie kitchen and present you with loose-leaf tea and shortbread. I was so out of my mind that I actually put a few shortbread in my bag to go- I had never tasted something so melty and buttery and creamy that was solid?! I was confused. I felt great.
Shortly after my shortbread obsession began I also started that dairy-free life. I've been searching for a way to recreate the buttery melty delicious crumbly square for years and I finally stumbled upon it!
This recipe uses creamed coconut, which you may also see as coconut manna or coconut butter. Same/same! The top of the jar generally has a layer of coconut oil on top, just push that aside and get to the good goods underneath for this recipe!
Dairy Free Gluten Free Lavender Lemon Shortbread
1 tsp lavender
1 TBSP sugar, to top
Preheat your oven to 350 and find an 8" round cake pan or standard loaf pan.
Flavor the sugar- in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, lemon and lavender. Rub together with your fingers for about a minute until everything is fragrant and evenly distributed.
Beat in the coconut oil and coconut manna, continue beating until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
Stir in the gluten free flour blend.
Press the dough into the pan, use the bottom of a measuring cup to make it even across the top then top with remaining sugar and lavender (I also used calendula petals just for pretties).
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until the top just begins to turn brown.
Let cool completely in pan before removing to cut!
Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to one week.
**If you would like to make these completely vegan, simply omit the egg. I actually prefer the texture without the egg BUT it's not a very practical cookie. They are way too crumbly (which makes for a really great mouthfeel) but they're nearly impossible to transport without the egg to bind them. I have yet to try it but I could see these being successful with a flax egg or even a bit of applesauce to hold them together!