There's nothing quite as comforting as the taste of freshly baked biscuits! These melt-in-the-mouth shortbread blossom biscuits are vegan, deliciously crisp and perfect with a cup of tea!
Did you know that plum blossoms are edible? I talked about the uses of plum blossoms in my previous post, and these wonderful blossoms are now in season in the UK, so I thought that right now would be the perfect time to experiment with them!
These biscuits are made with a few simple ingredients and are delicately flavoured with plum blossoms. The blossoms add a lovely, sweet floral aroma and taste without being overpowering - they literally taste like spring in a biscuit! If you haven't already tried adding plum blossoms to your baking, I'd highly recommend you do!
TIPS FOR MAKING THESE BISCUITS
Gluten-free: I haven’t tested these biscuits with gluten-free flour, but I’ll be testing some recipes very soon!
What brand of vegan butter? I used the unsalted Flora plant butter block, which is one of my favourite vegan butters. The Naturli vegan butter block also works well in vegan baking.
Alternatives: This shortbread recipe is a great base for any flavour shortbread biscuit. If you’re unable to find plum blossoms or you prefer not to use them, you can try adding some vanilla, lemon zest or rose water instead.
Don’t lift the cookies off the baking tray when you take them out of the oven - these cookies will feel very soft even after baking, so don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re undercooked. They’ll harden as they cool down, but if you try to move them when they’re fresh out the oven, I can guarantee they’ll break, so make sure you let them cool down on the baking tray for 5 minutes or so before transferring them to a wire rack.
Don’t add icing to hot cookies – if you add icing onto hot cookies the icing will melt and run everywhere, so unless you want a hot mess, have patience and wait for them to cool completely.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
5cm cookie cutter - this will create around 18 biscuits; you could use a larger cookie cutter but you’ll get less biscuits out of the dough.
HOW TO MAKE THESE BLOSSOM BISCUITS
Preheat the oven 160C (320°F). Gently wash the plum blossoms in a bowl of water and pat them dry with some kitchen towel. Don't worry if the blossoms break apart as they don't need to look perfect inside the dough.
Add the flour, plum blossoms, butter, oil and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands or a stand mixer to combine the ingredients until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then squeeze until it comes together as a dough.
Line a clean surface with some baking paper. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough onto the baking paper to ½ cm thickness. Use a 5-6cm round cookie cutter to cut out as many biscuits as possible. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all of the dough is used. Rolling the dough out onto a piece of baking paper makes it easier to lift away the cookies after they’ve been cut.
Chill the biscuits in the fridge for 15 minutes, then bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the shortbread biscuits from the oven and then leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.
To make the icing, add the icing sugar and 2 tsp water to a medium bowl and stir. It'll look dry at first so don't be tempted to add more liquid. Only add more water if it's still too thick after you've thoroughly combined all of the ingredients. Spoon 1 tsp of the icing onto each biscuit and leave the icing to set for about 5 minutes. Garnish the biscuits with plum blossoms and serve.