These pumpkin pecan vegan shortbread cookies are just as tender and ‘buttery’ as classic shortbread cookies but with a fall-inspired vegan twist.
Quick question for the food bloggers in the audience: How many times do you test a recipe before giving up?
I had the idea for these pumpkin pecan vegan shortbread cookies long before I made the red velvet version. In fact, they were supposed to be part of last year’s pumpkin week but I had to miss a day when the cookies refused to cooperate.
Pumpkin cookies are usually way to soft and fluffy for my liking. I’m much more of a thick and chewy cookie kinda gal. But I figured that pumpkin would be a great addition to this vegan shortbread since shortbread is usually on the tender side. Couldn’t hurt my quest for that elusive ‘buttery’ shortbread texture, right? Especially since I planned to used coconut oil and not actual butter.
Unfortunately, the first 1340923 tries were epic fails. I either ended up with cookies so soft they were almost rubbery or cookies that were much harder than I wanted.
Pumpkin Pecan Vegan Shortbread Cookies
But on my 340924th attempt, I made one tiny substitution, just for fun and realised the pumpkin wasn’t the issue at all. It was my choice of sweetener.
I originally used coconut sugar to replace the fine white sugar traditionally used in shortbread. But, even though it worked well with the beets, the coarse coconut sugar apparently wasn’t all that great in pumpkin shortbread. #Science.
Luckily, switching to a liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup seemed to do the trick.
The final vegan shortbread was just as tender and ‘buttery’ as I’d ever wanted and just sweet enough without being overpowering. But I still don’t even want to look at pumpkin for the next 21 years or so.
JK. I still have 1/2 a tin left to get through. So maybe just no more pumpkin cookies.
What about you?
Have you ever made shortbread before? What recipe took you ages to get right?
More vegan cookies:
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
- 2½ tbsp pumpkin puree, at room temperature
- 3 tbsp maple syrup or agave
- ½ tsp agave
- ¾ cup + 1 - 2 tbsp unbleached all purpose spelt flour*
- ¼ tsp pumpkin spice
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chopped pecans
- In a medium bowl, beat together the coconut oil, beet puree and agave or maple syrup then mix in the vanilla and salt
- Sift in ¾ cup spelt flour and pumpkin spice and mix until well incorporated and a crumbly dough has formed
- Give the spelt flour a few minutes to soak in the moisture and if, after that, the dough is too wet, add up to 2 tbsp more flour, ½ tbsp at a time
- Fold in the pecans then transfer the dough onto a piece of wax paper, roll into a log and freeze for 15 - 20 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside
- Remove the dough log from the freezer, unwrap and slice into cookies about ½ an inch thick. If the dough is too soft, return it to the freezer. If it's too hard, let it sit at room temperature until you can cut into it
- Place cookies on the baking tray and bake for 16 - 20 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown. Stop at 16 minutes for more 'buttery' melt-in-your-mouth shortbread or leave for full 20 minutes for more shortbread that's crispy on the outside. Do not over bake.
**If using unbleached spelt flour, allow a few minutes for the
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