Well, I haven’t been posting much in the last few months. And there actually is a good excuse. I am pregnant with our 4th child and these first 15 weeks have been quite difficult. I have hardly been able to eat, much less cook and blog about new recipes. Even the thought of cooking made me queasy. So, in the last week, it has been exciting to feel some legitimate hunger pangs and start to long for good food again. And with the ushering in of fall’s cooler weather, my desire to cook and bake has come strong… as in I have made 4 batches of pumpkin muffins, huge pots of hot soup, lasagna, shortbread cookies, and a lemon pound cake all in a matter of days. HA! Don’t worry, I didn’t eat all that.
I came across a similar shortbread recipe a while back and remember them being very good. I saw these posted on foodgawker today and I decided to give them a try. The results are perfectly pleasing. I love how simple these are to make. Now, I do realize the last recipe I posted was also for a shortbread cookie. These are similar in flavor and texture, but this recipe held it’s shape a little better. Both are great though.
The recipe came from glutenfreebaking.com . It calls for vanilla extract but I used almond extract because that sounded delicious to me. I think they would also be great with a hint of lemon and maybe some fresh lemon zest. Lots of possibilities.
The recipe on that site gives several things/tips that are important to know when making these.
1. Don’t overmix. Shortbread cookies are dense affairs. Over-mixing the butter causes their texture to become too light and crumbly. When preparing the dough, don’t cream the butter and sugar so much that it becomes light and fluffy.
2. Take your time. Since these cookies contain no eggs, there’s no moisture to coax the ingredients quickly into a dough. Once the dry ingredients are added to the butter and sugar paste, it takes a little while for a dough to form. At first the dough seems incredibly sandy–you might even worry that it’s not coming together—don’t fret like I did the first time I made a batch! The dough does come together after two or three minutes of mixing. Don’t rush it and don’t give up. The wait’s worth it.
3. Re-rolling is welcome. With no gluten to make things tough, you can roll and re-roll this dough until every last piece is used. Since these cookies are so rich, I make about two dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies from one batch, gathering and re-rolling the dough as needed to get this many cookies.
Ok, so here is the recipe.
Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
1 1/3 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (prevents cookies from spreading)
14 TBSP butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or other flavoring of your choice. I used almond)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together flours and cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment , cream the butter and sugar together, just until it forms a thick paste, about 30 seconds. Remember, don’t beat it for long. Add the dry ingredients. Turn mixer on an mix for about 3 minutes. I had to periodically stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Mix until a dough forms.
2. Lightly flour your countertop with white rice flour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and shape into a disk. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut using round cookie cutter. I used a 2 inch round cutter. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart and chill in fridge for at least 10 min. This will also help them retain their shape and not spread too thin.
3. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown and fragrant. Surprisingly (to me), this took about 25-30 min. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 10 min before removing them. I speak from experience that they will break apart if you don’t wait. Trust me, they are worth waiting for.
And if you are really wanting a decadent treat, after they have cooled, dip them in chocolate! I just melted some dark chocolate chips, dipped some of the cookies halfway into it, and put them on parchment paper to let the chocolate set. Seriously, it’s delicious.
Stay tuned for a wonderful pumpkin muffin recipe!!