Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, & Egg-Free Shortbread

by Maggie on November 12, 2009

Today we celebrate the return of Christmas shortbread in our house.  Turn on the Christmas music, get out the Christmas decorations, and wash the Christmas sweaters (just kidding)!  The season is upon us and it’s looking bright.

I’m having a little Spa Sisters soiree this weekend and I really wanted to bake a gluten-free shortbread.  After all, it’s getting close to Christmas (we’ll be doing some Christmas shopping at this girlie soiree) so that’s another good excuse.

So here’s my first gluten-free shortbread post.  I will likely do some updates to this one and hopefully try another shortbread recipe too.  Please enjoy.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to bite into these babies and actually taste that shortbread taste – you know the one.  It was like we’d died and gone to shortbread heaven.

I used my mom’s shortbread recipe as my starting point.  It’s the shortbread we ate every year growing up.  So yummy, so simple, and so familiar.  So my mission was to make them gluten-free.  I had to find the right flour mix as shortbread is so finicky.  Here’s what I came up with, thanks to some inspiration and ideas from Karina (my goddess):

2 cups of brown rice flour (we never use white rice flour)

2 cups of cornstarch

2/3 cup of millet flour

3 1/2 tsp of zanthum gum

Here’s the shortbread recipe:

4 cups of gluten-free mix (above)

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of butter at room temperature (I’m never this prepared so I melted mine in the oven while it was preheating)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

Cream the butter and the brown sugar in the bowl of your mixer (it’s not too late to put one on your Christmas list).  Add the flour one cup at a time and be careful not to over-mix.  Use any extra flour (1/2 cup to 1 cup) for rolling out and cutting your dough.

Sprinkle flour on a clean surface (I used lots to make for easier removal).  Don’t forget that you’re working with gluten-free dough here.  Don’t expect perfection.  Or simplicity.  I am not a patient person so this was tough for me!

Sprinkle flour on a rolling pin and cookie cutters (I used circles for my first attempt).  Sprinkle flour on dough and start rolling.

Roll dough until it’s about one inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Be very patient.  Very.  Use a lifter to lift shapes from surface to a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Leave at least one inch between cookies.  Roll out all of your shapes at the same time as this dough does not cooperate when it comes to re-rolling extra dough.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  WATCH them.  Let cool on the tray for 1 minute and then CAREFULLY move to a wire rack to cool completely.  I dipped mine in chocolate.  Smart, I know.

Next time:

1.  I’m going to try to make them with Earth Balance vegan butter so Miss Livvie can enjoy them too.

2.  I’m going to try to use sucanat as I found them almost too sweet (gasp).

3.  I’m going to use all of the dough at the same time as it dried up pretty fast.

4.  I’m going to make these with Callum and use Christmas cookie cutters (bless me).

Please let me know what you think!  You better try them.  Seriously, they’re not that difficult and imagine how happy you will be – or how happy your gluten-free friend will be.  What a glorious Christmas present.

The dough - I think I added too much flour

The dough - I think I added too much flour

Ready to roll

Ready to roll

Soooo yummy

Soooo yummy

Just ask Pete!

Just ask Pete!

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