- 256g (2 sticks + 2 tablespoons) – vegan butter, softened at room temp
- 180g (1 cup) – powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon – gel red food coloring, see notes https://amzn.to/3Yx0Bf0
- 250g (2 cups) – all-purpose flour, spooned, leveled, and sifted, see notes
- 40g (1/4 cup) – white rice flour, sifted (not glutinous, see notes)
- 40g (1/4 cup) – cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ teaspoon – salt
- Vegan white chocolate for topping https://amzn.to/3B7n4VX or https://amzn.to/3ESmNau
- Food scale https://amzn.to/3ulF5fj
- Fine mesh sieve or strainer
- Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- Your favorite cookie cutters, I used a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter
- Thin spatula
- Parchment paper
- 2 Large baking pan
- Wire cooling rack
- Piping bags, optional
- Before starting, remove butter from the fridge and allow it to soften at room temp. About 20-30 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, white rice flour, salt, and natural cocoa powder. Set aside until ready to use.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a separate mixing bowl), cream the softened butter and powdered sugar. Mix until light and creamy. Then add the vanilla extract and the red gel food coloring and continue to mix until well combined.
- Next, reduce the speed and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until all the ingredients have combined into a dough.
- Transfer the dough onto a work surface and lightly knead it until it becomes a smooth and cohesive dough.
- Shape the cookie dough into a 1-inch thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit, and prep two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Tear out an additional sheet of parchment, and lightly flour the top of it. Transfer the chilled dough to the parchment paper. If it’s too hard to roll out, allow it to soften for about 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Don’t let the dough get too soft, otherwise, it’ll be difficult to work with and the cookies won’t bake properly.
- Flour the top of the dough and your rolling pin. Roll your dough by starting from the center and working outwards in all directions. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut out your cookies with your favorite cookie cutters. Remove any excess dough, and reuse them later! Flour a thin spatula and gently and carefully slide it under the cookies and transfer it to the baking pan. If you’re using parchment paper to roll the cookies out, you shouldn’t have too much trouble having the dough released from the surface.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, and leave about an inch in between and bake for 10-11 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool on the baking pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be soft right when you take them out of the oven, but they will harden as they cool.
- Decorate the fully-cooled cookies with melted vegan white chocolate, and allow the chocolate to set before serving!
- Measure your flour properly. I test my recipes, 100% in grams. A common reason baked goods fail is incorrectly measured flour. I always recommend using a scale for accuracy when baking. This greatly improves your chance for success and lessens room for error.
- If you’re measuring by cups, avoid scooping the measuring cup directly into the flour. This tends to pack the flour into the cup, resulting in too much flour and a very dense or gummy finished product. Instead, aerate your flour (fluff it with a fork or spoon) and then spoon it into your measuring cups, leveling it with your finger or the back of a butter knife. Keep in mind though, that this method is not guaranteed to be accurate.
- Vegan Butter. The best brand that I’ve used for making cookies is Country Crock’s plant butter sticks. It tastes great and has a nice creamy consistency. I would not use the butter that comes in the tub, as those are meant for spreads and not for baking.
- White Rice Flour (not glutinous). Rice flour gives it that special sandy texture that sets it apart from the common biscuit cookie. So do not skip out on this!
- Natural Cocoa Powder. For these vegan red velvet shortbread cookies, we want them to taste more chocolatey, and because we are adding food coloring the color will show up more when we use natural cocoa powder.
- Gel food coloring. Unlike liquid food colors, gel food colors bring a more vibrant and clarity of color without the addition of a lot of unnecessary liquid. Use a vegan-friendly brand, I like using Americolor!
Keywords: vegan, vegan red velvet cookies, red velvet, shortbread