Shortbread Cookies (gluten-free)

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cups gluten-free all purpose baking flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal (this makes the cookies special!)
  • 1/2 cup potato or tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (this prevents the cookies from spreading)
  • 7 ounces (14 tablespoons) [ideally organic pasture-raised] unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar [I use a bit less]
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In small bowl mix together flours, potato starch, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum.

In a separate bowl cream together butter, sugar and vanilla extract, on medium-low speed, until a thick paste forms – about 30 seconds.

Add dry ingredients. Turn on mixer and mix until a dough forms, about 3 minutes.

Put dough between 2 pieces of wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out, about 1/4-inch thick.

Cut using a cookie cutter and place cookies on prepared baking sheet, about two inches apart.

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.

A few helpful hints:

  • Don’t over-mix. 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.
  • 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…the dough does come together after two or three minutes of mixing. Don’t rush it and don’t give up. The wait is worth it.  
  • 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.

Yields two dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies.