It took a few tries to get the perfect crispy, crunchy, flavorful vegan shortbread, but this recipe finally nailed it. Using a combination of olive oil and vegan butter mixed with mashed banana creates just the right texture and flavor.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil, vegan butter, banana and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in the flour mixture, in two batches, making sure it is well combined before adding the next batch. Fold in the pecans until just combined.
Press the dough firmly into the prepared baking pan and refrigerate until chilled, 35 to 40 minutes. Lift the shortbread out of the pan onto a cutting board, using the parchment handles. Cut the shortbread into 16 squares and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the shortbread is set and turns light golden brown on top with deep golden brown edges, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. Transfer the shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle with a spoon over the shortbread.