Brown Sugar Shortbread

IMG_5420 January needn’t be all austerity. A sweet treat now and then livens up any healthy eating plan; in fact I most crave sweet things when I’m trying to avoid them! These little shortbread cookies are ideal, you could almost convince yourself they’re a health food! 😉 The brown sugar ticks the avoid refined sugars box, shortbread is also less sweet than most baked goods ticking the worthy box and the fact they’re homemade ticks the avoid processed foods box. Perfect! By all means sprinkle the top with a little caster sugar to finish if you prefer not to use the roll out icing, but I just had to use my snowflake cutter before it got packed away in the Christmas box and they do look rather pretty!

Brown Sugar Shortbread (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) IMG_5418   makes about 20

  • 225g plain flour
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 150g dairy-free spread
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Roll out icing or 1-2 tbsp caster sugar to finish

– Heat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade/Gas mark 3 – Line 2 baking sheets with parchment – Stir the sugar and salt into the flour – Rub in the spread with your fingertips (you need a light tough with shortbread) – Squeeze together to form a crumbly dough – Roll out and stamp out or cut out shapes – Place on the baking sheets – Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for a further 10 ( keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn) – Cool on a wire rack – If using caster sugar to decorate, sprinkle on whilst they’re still hot – If using roll out icing, wait until they’re cool and then attach it with a a paint of watery icing IMG_5419 IMG_5417

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Popcorn

Popcorn is such a great vehicle for interesting flavour combinations and makes such a moreish snack. This version really is a cinnamon bun in popcorn form – ideal for adding a hit of spiced sweetness to your day – but far easier and healthier!

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Popcorn (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 1 large bowlful

  • 3 cups of freshly popped corn
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free spread
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

– Melt together the spread, sugar and cinnamon.

– Pour over the popped corn and stir well until all the corn is coated in the luscious sweet spice.

– Serve

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Brown Sugar Blondies

So I have a half pack of silken tofu left over from the chocolate cheesecake recipe – what to do with it? I could have made brownies with silken tofu, but I’m all out of ‘safe’ cocoa powder and will have to go on a mission to get some. So, in the meantime I opted to make some Blondies instead. I’ve never come across one before, but basically it’s a brownie with no chocolate, flavoured with brown sugar rather than cocoa. This adaptation of a Vegan Cookies Invade The Cookie Jar recipe works superbly well, producing a fudgy soft interior with a slightly crisp top, and no-one would ever guess that you’ve used tofu (which can, after all, put some people off!). The girls loved this with ‘ice cream’ for pudding 😀

I reckon these could easily be jazzed up – any ideas for jazzy Blondies?

Brown Sugar Blondies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes a 9 inch/23 cm square baking trays worth!

  • 90g silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup oat milk
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 3/4 cup soft brown sugar (preferably dark brown)
  • 1/4 cup demarara sugar
  • 1 capful of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

– Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 3

– Line a small square baking tray with parchment.

– In a food processor, pulse the tofu, oat milk and oil until smooth. Pour into a bowl.

– Stir the sugars into the tofu mix and set aside for at least 20 minutes for the sugars to dissolve.

– Stir in the vanilla.

– Sift in the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Stir gently to form a thick smooth dough.

– Pour into the pan and smooth out the top.

– Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the Blondies are very lightly browned around the edges.

– Cool completely before cutting into squares.

– Warm in a microwave for 20 seconds if like, and serve with ‘ice cream’ and berries.