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Answer: Yes. Vegans can eat most Bourbon biscuits, with a few exceptions (explained below).
Bourbon biscuits are one of the most iconic biscuits across the world. Edwin Aldrin, the astronaut, consumed it after Apollo 11 landed, making it the first biscuit on the moon. What other biscuit shares its name with a whiskey and French royalty? To be fair though, the biscuit has no real connection with either of its namesakes. However, it’s fun to imagine that you’re somehow connected to an ancient Royal house of France every time you have Bourbon biscuits. Anyway, the point here is that it’s a biscuit that is both a snack as well as a small corner of popular culture.
The biscuits are rectangular/oblong ‘sandwiches’ that have chocolate filling in between. And traditionally, the ingredients have always been vegan-friendly. They include baking soda, flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar, etc. No matter which variety you buy, they’ll always have some sort of sugar in them. Now, you may hear about how commercial sugar gets whitened with bone char. But some biscuits have organic sugar as sweeteners. If you’re not sure about it, don’t worry too much. Veganism is essentially a lifestyle and ethical choice. You save hundreds of innocent animals merely by shopping for plant-based food items. The choices you make influence those around you in more ways than one. So, focus on the bigger picture and the overall ethical vision that drives your choices.
Which Bourbon biscuits to avoid?
Like any other biscuit, Bourbon biscuits also come in varieties. And with its rising popularity, more and more variants keep appearing. While the original Bourbon biscuit is relatively ok for vegans to eat, the other ‘modern’ flavors may have dairy products. Check the product’s ingredients before you buy or consume any Bourbon biscuit that has additional flavors or twists.
Bourbon biscuits with milk
Some variants of the Bourbon biscuit may have milk as a core ingredient. Be wary if the packet or box specifically mentions creamy features. Bakers and brands tend to use milk for fats and sugar content. Also, milk helps biscuits and baked goods to moisten and get a rich brown crust when ready. But as vegans, you should avoid buying these brands.
Bourbon biscuits with butter
Butter is a favorite for bakers and cooks because it has so many uses. Like milk, it can add moisture and even helps in leavening. The primary use is, however, the flavor. The intense flavor of butter is unmistakable in baked goods. Bourbon biscuits that used butter should not find a place in your shopping basket ever.
With other non-vegan ingredients
You may find other Bourbon recipes that contain stuff like honey, eggs, heavy cream, rich sugars, etc. These are all animal and dairy products that come from slaughter. Check your ingredients to ensure that the biscuit you see doesn’t have these contents.
Make your own vegan Bourbon biscuits.
If you have a hard time choosing brands because you’re not sure of the ingredients, you can make your own. Here’s a simple recipe.
Ingredients for biscuits
- 80 g caster sugar
- 250 g non-dairy butter
- 250 g plain flour
- 1 ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
Ingredients for cream
- 40 g dark chocolate
- 100 g icing sugar
- 80 g vegan butter
- 1 ½ tablespoon of cocoa powder.
- Start by nicely mixing the sugar and butter into a cream. Add the flour and stir. Continue till it becomes a firm dough. Wrap the dough in film and refrigerate it for about half an hour.
- Use parchment paper to line the baking tray as you preheat the oven to about 170°.
- Cut the dough into the famous Bourbon shape and thickness. The usual width is about 2 cm. Once the shape is ready, bake them for 15 minutes.
- Now for the cream. Mix the butter and icing sugar into a nice fluff. Next, add the melted dark chocolate and the cocoa powder. Mix it into a rich buttery cream.
- Once the biscuits cool down, spread a teaspoon over one and sandwich it with another.
- Keep the biscuits for about 5-7 days in the fridge. Once cooled properly, your vegan bourbon biscuits are ready.