Orange Currant Shortbread (Gluten-Free with Vegan Option)
Orange currant shortbread is a very simple and easy to prepare recipe for a small batch of biscuits. The basic dough of softened butter, almond meal and icing sugar can be used as a base for easy flavour variation with spices, nuts and dried fruit. For example, you can try using cinnamon, ground ginger, cocoa powder or vanilla bean paste to spice up the dough. For nuts, you could add in chopped pistachios, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. As a sweet element, you could add crystallized ginger, dates, chocolate chips or dried blueberries. If you find a flavour combination you really like, double the batch size and bring them on a group ride to share with friends.
45 g softened butter
100 g almond meal
30 g icing sugar
1 tsp orange zest
40 g currants
In a food processor, blend butter, almond meal, icing sugar and orange zest until a dough forms. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and knead to work in currants. Roll the dough into a short log, and wrap in plastic wrap, shaping the ends to square them off. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 1 h until it becomes firm. Cut the log into slices around 6 mm thick and place them on a greased, paper-lined baking tray. Bake for 12 min at 180 °C (fan-forced). Makes 12.
Vegan Option: Instead of butter, you can use coconut oil in this recipe. Coconut oil has a sharper melting temperature, which means the dough may tend to break after chilling, but the dough slices can be gently pressed back together before baking. Try substituting orange zest with lime zest and the currants with 25 g shredded coconut for a subtle but enjoyable flavour.