Backhousia citriodora, otherwise known as lemon myrtle, was named after James Backhouse, an English botany collector. It's a flowering rainforest tree, usually growing to around 8m tall, with the leaves prized for their lemony essential oils. It is the highest natural source of citral, beating even lemongrass. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and in both savoury and sweet dishes - fish, chicken, vegetables as well as tea, biscuits or cakes.
Now, I take kitchen failures very personally, so I'm persisting with gluten-free + vegan here. This is because just last week I was forced to admit defeat with a gluten-free cake that looked like a wet sponge sitting in a puddle of oil. And my most recent cookie attempt at Christmas time was a gingerbread so terrifyingly brittle I had to check my tooth repeatedly for cracks.
Thankfully, these shortbread cookies have a buttery, soft bite. That makes me happy.
50g coconut flour
1 tsp xantham gum
150g dairy-free margarine
80g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon myrtle (purchased online from Outback Chef)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 170 C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
In a bowl, sift together flours, gum and sugar. Add vanilla extract then add pieces of cold margarine and rub into flours. Combine and bring together into a dough ball. Roll dough into a log, wrap tightly in cling wrap and put into freezer for 1/2 hour to firm up. Unwrap and slice into 1.5 cm discs, place on tray and bake for about 10mins. They should be just golden. Let cool on wire rack.