I absolutely love this Vegan Black Sesame Shortbread – it’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty, whilst being simultaneously crisp and melt-in-your-mouth buttery.
I’ve been wanting to make a dairy-free shortbread for a while. I don’t like to use things like vegan butter or lactose-free spreads, as they’re not easily accessible for everyone and not particularly healthy either, so opted for a mixture of two great whole foods alternatives: coconut oil and black sesame tahini.
The coconut oil creates a delicious crisp yet rich texture to the shortbread, and black sesame tahini adds a deliciously nutty flavour as well as multiple health benefits. I was surprised the texture was still good without refined sugar, but somehow the mixture of coconut oil, maple syrup and flour managed to work!
I decided to make these shortbread biscuits black sesame-flavoured, as in Japan it’s widely used in both sweet and savoury dishes, and thought it would be a great way to enhance the quintessentially salty-sweet flavour of shortbread.
Black sesame tahini is available in most local health stores or online, but if you have trouble getting hold of it, you could just add a little more coconut oil and use black sesame seeds instead. You can either buy black sesame seeds and crush them yourself using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder, or buy them ready-crushed. If you’re based in the UK, you can buy crushed black sesame seeds online from the Japan Centre.
These Vegan Black Sesame Shortbread Biscuits are quick and easy, coming together in just one bowl. They’re perfect for snacking, but will also make lovely and unique Christmas gifts!
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons black sesame tahini (or sub 2 tablespoons more coconut oil + 2 tablespoons ground black sesame seeds)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener of choice)
- Generous pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 170g plain flour
- 8 tablespoons of milk, any kind
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (no need to sift the flour) until you get an easily moldable but firm dough – add more milk if necessary to achieve the right consistency
- Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface or chopping board, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it’s around 1cm thick
- Use a cookie cutter to cut the shortbread to whatever shape you like
- Alternatively, you could just roll the dough into a log shape, then slice them into 1cm-thick rounds
- Arrange them on a greased baking tray
- Bake in oven for around 25 minutes, until they’re firm to the touch (don’t worry if they’re not completly hard though, they tend to firm up when cooling)
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week