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Home | Blog | (Free Recipe) How to Make Gluten-Fre . . .

(Free Recipe) How to Make Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

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September 15, 2011

Remember the "You Donate. I Bake." post? Well, it ended up raising over $700!  Over the last few weeks, I sent hundreds of gluten-free shortbread cookies into the world. Thank you to everyone who donated! Your generosity amazed me. 

Several folks asked for the recipe for those simple shortbread cookies. I'm more than happy to share it And I'm more than please (tickled really!) that several of the folks who received cookies are NOT gluten-free and still wanted the recipe! 

Since starting the project, I've learned lots about these simple cookies! Here's what you need to know before whipping up a batch:

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.

5 1/3 ounces (1 1/3 cups) white rice flour

2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) sweet rice flour

2 ounces (1/2 cup) cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (this prevents the cookies from spreading)

7 ounces (14 tablespoons) butter, softened

5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In small bowl, whisk together white rice flour, sweet rice flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together, on medium-low speed, until a thick paste forms, about 30 seconds. Shut off stand mixer. Add dry ingredients. Turn on mixer and mix until a dough forms, about three minutes.

2. Lightly white rice flour your countertop. Turn dough out onto counter and shape dough into a disk. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out, about 1/4-inch thick. Cut using a round cutter and place cookies on prepared baking sheet, about two inches apart. Chill cookies for ten minutes.

3.Bake until cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges and aromatic, about 30 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for five minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool. Repeat using remaining dough.

Makes about two dozen cookies

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