Monday, April 9, 2012

A Scottish Snack

I always look forward to eating the foods that are native to the countries that we are learning about and this month was no exception. I recently started eating a new diet where I am primarily eating plant based foods. When I started looking around for Scottish snacks, I realized that it was going to be tricky. One of the most popular snacks that I kept stumbling upon was Scottish Shortbread. Shortbread, as I'm sure you are aware, is mostly butter. I searched a little and found that there were a few vegan shortbread recipes using vegan butter. I decided to wing it and see what happens. 

I gathered the ingredients, the appropriate kitchen weapons tools, and my littles. 

The first step is cream 1 cup of butter (or vegan butter as I did) with an electric mixer. 
Then add, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, and 2 cups of flour. 

 After mixing all of the ingredients (it should look like crumbles), pour into a cake pan. 

Then, with clean hands press the crumbles into your pan.

Bake at 325º for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

The next part is the sampling of the treat. I'd be lying to you if I told you that we loved it. I might try to lie if I thought I could get away with it, but as you can see from Aiden's face, it was a bit disappointing. (I'm a lousy liar, anyway.)

The truth is that using vegan butter in a recipe that is supposed to be primarily butter is just an all around bad call (at least for my family). The texture was great and I'm sure if I had spent my life eating vegan butter I would be quite pleased with the outcome, but the bottom line is that even though vegan butter tastes just fine on toast, it is just not the same in a butter based treat. Preston said that it would taste great if we put something on it (I assumed he was secretly thinking, "Like butter and lots of it!") so we discussed putting berries on top, I think we will try that next, since we have 3/4 of a pan of vegan shortbread left that none of us were thrilled about, well.... Eliana liked it, but she loves anything that you tell her is a treat, so that's a little unfair.


Here's the recipe again:
1 Cup butter (or vegan butter if you like)
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup powdered sugar
2 Cups flour 

Cream the butter with an electric mixer, add the remaining ingredients and mix until it is well mixed and looks like crumbs. Pour into a cake pan (ungreased) and bake at 325º for 35 minutes or until golden brown. 

Have you tried vegan butter in a recipe? How about made some substitutions in a recipe that were largely disappointing? Or maybe you can offer me some advise for making these kinds of substitutions? 

In any case, I hope you'll check back later this week to see what other Scottish inspired adventures we are up to. Oh, and for those of you who like to follow along and see what foods we are eating, but don't want vegan foods, don't worry, we will still be including non vegan foods for our end of the month celebration. I'm not committed enough to try to find vegan, ethnic foods that my whole family of picky eaters will eat. Besides, I ate chocolate yesterday.  


  1. Vegan butter? That sounds kinda gross! I'm impressed you were dedicated enough to try it, and honest enough to blog about it! LOL :)

    1. Well, not every blog post can feature perfection right? :) Besides, I do think that people who eat vegan butter regularly would not have minded this at all, it just didn't have the same level of... well.... buttery deliciousness that you expect from shortbread. I should have trusted my gut on this one, but since I saw several recipes for vegan shortbread using vegan butter, I figured it couldn't be that bad, and it wasn't horrible, it just wasn't great either :)


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