Walnut shortbread

The winter holidays just aren’t the same without shortbread. After the successful outcome of my last few walnut recipes, it only made sense that my next kitchen experiment would involve a holiday favourite.

Traditional shortbread recipes are based on the soft, buttery flavour we all know and love. I rarely make use of vegan buttery sticks for baking, but as my husband said to me as he took his first bite of this shortbread, “sometimes you just gotta live a little!”

Vegan Walnut Shortbread | A Dash of Compassion

I initially envisioned something a little different than plain shortbread. Instead, this recipe makes use of toasted walnuts, kamut flour and some pure maple syrup, which give these cookies lots of character. Soft and buttery and oh-so delicious, you’d be crazy not to add them to your holiday baking list.

The best part is they’re fairly easy to whip together because they require just a few ingredients. This made me think they would be perfect to gift to my cookie-loving family and friends. But instead of baking them myself, I simply layered the dry ingredients (toasted walnut meal, kamut flour, all-purpose flour and sugar, and then top with chopped walnuts for garnish) in 1-litre mason jars and added a recipe card and a pretty bow. All the gift recipient has to do is add their own vegan butter and maple syrup. It’s a simple and thoughtful gift that is perfect for Christmas. Enjoy!

Vegan Walnut Shortbread Mix | A Dash of Compassion


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Walnut shortbread

Yield: 2 dozen


  • 1 cup vegan buttery sticks (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup kamut flour (or more all-purpose)
  • 1 1/2 cups California walnuts, toasted (plus more for garnish, if desired)


  1. Using a food processor, pulse the walnuts to a coarse meal. Don't worry if there are still some chunks; they add some crunch.
  2. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, mix together the vegan butter and sugar until creamy. Add the maple syrup and mix to combine.
  3. Next, add the all-purpose flour and kamut flour and continue to mix just to combine. Finally, add the ground walnuts and mix until the dough comes together. The dough should no longer stick to the edges of the bowl. If it still seems too wet, add a tablespoon of flour.
  4. Divide the dough into two balls. Flatten them into 1-inch thick disks and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  5. Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Work with one dough disk at a time. Unwrap the dough and roll the top lightly with a rolling pin, making sure the disk is smooth and about 1-inch thick all around. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place them on the prepared cookie sheets. Garnish cookies with chopped walnuts, if desired. Bake the cookies at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

This recipe was submitted to the California Walnut Commission for its California Walnuts Holiday Blogger Challenge.



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