Shortbread Cookies with Edible Flowers

These crumbly, vegan shortbread cookies are not only a great way to showcase beautiful edible summer flowers, but they pair perfectly with a hot cup of tea or coffee, or your favorite dairy-free milk. They’re simple, quick and the star of the show at any midsummer get together.

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Prep time: 1 hr 20 min
Cook time: 10 min

Makes rougly 16 cookies depending on the size of your cutter

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ cold vegan butter or margarine, plus 2 tbsp
  • ½ C vegan sugar of your choice*
  • 2 C all purpose flour, plus more for dusting**
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract (optional)

*Use any dry vegan sugar substitute – I do not recommend using agave or maple syrup because they are too wet and will alter the end result

**You can also use whole wheat, but I have not tried any gluten free flours…feel free to experiment!

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350º and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream together ¾ C butter, sugar, salt and extract until well combined.
  3. Gradually add flour until it is just combined, then use your hands to bring it all together. Do your best to form it into a ball, and although it’ll be crumbly, it will all come together later.
  4. Wrap tightly in two layers of plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour. If you refrigerate overnight, take your dough out and let it rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes to soften. Do not leave it out for longer than 20 minutes, or it will begin to fall apart.
  5. Once the dough is softened, use your hands to incorporate the additional 2 tbsp of cold butter. This will bind everything further to make it easier to roll out.
  6. Roll dough on a flour-dusted surface with a rolling pin, then use a 3 inch circular cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass to create your cookie shape. Be sure to flour the dough, the surface you’re using and the rolling pin throughout to prevent sticking. Repeat until all or most of the dough is used.
  7. Transfer your cookies to the baking sheet, and begin to tear petals or place small flowers onto the surface and lightly press down to stick them to the dough. Place your cookies in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes, or the freezer for 10.
  8. Remove your cookies from the refrigerator/freezer, place them in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bottom edges become lightly browned.

And that’s that! If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!

Eggplant Parm

So my original intent with this recipe was to make eggplant rollatini, but it didn’t stay rolled so it magically became eggplant parm. Growing up, my family never breaded and fried eggplant rollatini, but roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper instead so this is perfect for all my gluten free folks.

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Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

For the eggplant

  • 2 medium to large eggplants
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 C tomato sauce (homemade or otherwise)

For the ricotta

  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 C nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried or fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 C sautéed spinach

 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 375°, ignite grill on medium heat. If you do not have a grill/do not wish to use one, you may roast the eggplant instead, I just prefer grilling because it gives it a little more of a complex flavor and it’s faster. Line the grill or a grill pan with non-stick foil.
  2. Cut off both eggplant ends so you can stand it vertically. Begin by slicing 1/4 in pieces longways, the entire length of the eggplant and set aside in a large bowl or pan. Discard the ends that are primarily skin. If some of your eggplant slices are short, fear not! We will still use them later.
  3. Brush your eggplant with olive oil (I used an herb infused, but regular is fine) and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place them on the hot foil on the grill and close the top. Periodically check to be sure the thinner pieces are not burning. When they are soft and slightly charred, remove from heat.
  4. While you have your eggplant on the grill, start making your ricotta by combining all ingredients except the spinach into a food processor and begin blending, scraping off the sides occasionally (obviously turn the processor off, I’m not trying to have you sue me). Once blended, scoop into a bowl and mix with the sautéed spinach.
  5. Take a glass baking dish (I used an 11×7 and it fit perfectly) and put a 1/2 C layer of tomato sauce at the bottom.
  6. Lay an eggplant slice on a cutting board or countertop, scoop a few tbsp of the ricotta mixture onto it and lightly spread it. Don’t worry about being neat, it’ll partially unroll anyway. Place the eggplant slice snugly in the baking dish and repeat until all eggplant slices are used.*
  7. Once all of the eggplant is in the dish, lightly spread the remainder of the tomato sauce on top, and finish with grated mozzarella. My favorite brand for this is Miyoko’s Creamery which can be found in a number of stores, including Whole Foods.
  8. Bake for 20 mins on the center shelf. Once the timer is up, turn on the broiler and carefully watch for the top to begin to bubble and turn slightly golden brown.
  9. Serve hot on a layer of tomato sauce and garnish with chiffonaded basil and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese.

*When you come across the smaller pieces of eggplant or pieces that broke, simply overlap the ends and roll, it’s basically like making a longer piece and reduces waste. Why throw away a perfectly good piece of eggplant?

And that’s that! If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!