School is out for Isaiah. He graduated from kindergarten this week and so we are in full summer celebration mode. We have been talking about things related to summer, places we’d like to go, pools we’d like to hit up, and, of course, the beach. We talked a lot about the elaborate sand castles we plan to build and so, today, in that vein of thinking, I made sand dollar shortbread cookies. I have been wanting to try “Art of Gluten Free Baking’s” shortbread cookie recipe for a while. Then, I came across a picture of sugar cookies that looked like sand dollars by applying a sprinkling of cinnamon/sugar and pressing slivers of almonds into each cookie. I decided to give it a go! They turned out very delicate and buttery, with a bit of a snickerdoodle taste to them because of the cinnamon/sugar on top. You can most definitely use these shortbread cookies for lots of things. They obviously make great jam filled cookies (as you can see in the original post on “Art of Gluten Free Baking”). You could drizzle them or dip them with dark chocolate or even use them to make a cream filled sandwich cookie.
The dough is super easy to whip up and uses Jeanne’s flour mix which I now keep on hand when I want to make her dinner rolls. My kids had a great time helping me roll out the dough and press the cookie cutters in to make the rounds. Mercy loved helping me sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and Isaiah was very careful in placing the almond slivers at just the right spots. All in all these were fun to make and equally fun to eat.
Hope you enjoy!
Gluten Free Shortbread (Sand dollars)
Shortbread recipe from “Art of Gluten Free Baking” -adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)
3 1/2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used almond extract to compliment the almond slivers I was planning to put on top)
extra tapioca flour for dusting
1 egg white mixed with 1 TBSP water (used for brushing on the cookies before baking)
4 TBSP sugar mixed with 1 TSP cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-in a medium bowl, combine flour and salt, set aside
-in the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy
-add the sugar, continue to beat
-add the vanilla extract
-add the flour and salt mixture to the butter mixture, beat until just combined
-remove bowl from mixer and do the final mixing of the dough with your hands
-divide into two lumps
-shape each lump into a flat disk and wrap each disk in plastic wrap
-put into refrigerator to chill (for about 15-20 minutes)
When you’re ready to make the cookies, take out your first disk from the refrigerator and set onto counter to warm up a bit
-when dough is soft enough to roll out, place dough onto a Silpat mat (or between two sheets of plastic wrap)and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut out rounds and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Brush each cookie round with a bit of the egg wash. Sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon sugar over each cookie. Place 5 almond slivers on each cookie so that it looks like a sand dollar.
Bake in over for about 5 min. Take out and gently press the almonds down into each cookie. Return to oven for another 6-8 min. Take them out when the edges start to appear slightly brown.
Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing. These are delicate cookies so if you remove them much sooner you will end up with broken cookies.
Hope you enjoy these and that they get you thinking about your fun summer adventure plans.