Vegan AND gluten free shortbread! It can be done! Swap in coconut oil for the standard dairy butter, and almond meal for flour, and just like that, you can indulge in shortbread again.
Can we talk about this caramel? It's adapted from Blissful Basil, who I must thank profusely for introducing me to the magic that is five minute caramel. Seriously, it's so easy to make and you should keep it in your fridge at all times to eat with peanut butter out of the jar.
If you're like me, that is. But that's totally okay because it's made out of just almond butter (what?), maple syrup (no white sugar here), and just a touch of coconut oil (!!!!). It's insane, delicious, and I want to put it on everything. I already have a few other recipes lined up with it in mind.
Coconut Shortbread cookie sandwiches with chocolate Ganache and Salted caramel
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
adapted from Blissful Basil
1/3 cup unsalted almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Slightly rounded 1/4 tsp sea salt
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
To make the cookies, put coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a large bowl and combine. Add almond flour and stir until fully incorporated and the dough sticks together in one large ball. Move dough onto a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a log about 2" in diameter. Wrap the log and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, though 2 hours is preferable.
While the cookies are chilling, make the caramel by whisking together all ingredients in a pan over medium heat until everything is fully combined and the edges start to bubble. Remove from heat to have a more liquidy caramel, or continue to whisk over heat for an additional 2-4 minutes for a thicker, more chewy caramel. Transfer to a jar and cool to room temperature, then store in the fridge. The longer it is chilled, the thicker it will become.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and oil or line a cookie sheet. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and cut slices about 1/4" - 1/3" thick. Press the dough together a bit if the cookies start to crumble. Place cookies on the cookie sheet (they will not spread so don't worry about them being spread out) and bake until the edges start to become golden, about 15-20 minutes.
While the cookies are cooling, make the ganache by mixing all ganache ingredients in a medium bowl until fully combined. It may seem like a powdery mess at first, but keep stirring and the mixture will suddenly turn dark brown and come together.
Once the cookies have cooled and the caramel has thickened to your liking, flip all cookies over to begin creating sandwiches. Spread about 1 tsp of ganache on the bottoms of 12 cookies. Spoon about 1 tsp of caramel in the center of the other 12 cookies, making sure not to spread it to the edges so that when the two sandwich halves are pressed together, the caramel does not spill out. Pair each chocolate covered cookie with a caramel cookie, and press the ganache to the caramel to form the sandwiches.
- The cookie alone are not very sweet since they are paired with the ganache and caramel. If making the cookies to eat alone, add an extra 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup.