Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gluten-Free Shortbread

I love shortbread. The real stuff. You know, like Walkers from Scotland. The kind of shortbread that is so buttery and awesome, it leaves you thinking "how in the world did something this divine come from just butter, flour, and sugar?" Of course, it contains gluten, so it's not something I can indulge in anymore. So, I've set out to find a gluten-free recipe for it. That means you may see quite a few shortbread recipes posted here over time as I try them out.

I'm still playing around with recipes from the same Gluten-Free cookbook because I have to return it to the library Sunday. As luck would have it, there's a recipe in there for shortbread, so of course I had to make it. This recipe is a little different in that it calls for an egg, so it's really more like sugar-cookie type shortbread as opposed to traditional Scottish shortbread. Still, I think it's worth sharing. That, and I'm needing a new blog post.

1/4 cup (2 oz) butter, cold
1/8 cup (1 oz) sugar
1/2 cup (3 oz) flour blend #2 (recipe below)
1 egg, room temperature
As needed: egg wash and sugar for garnish

This is a different method to making shortbread. Rather than rub in the butter and all that, you just mix everything together until well combined. That's right, there shouldn't be any lumps of butter. It all needs to be thoroughly incorporated. It's more like a soft and sticky spritz cookie dough than shortbread.
Once it's all mixed together, pat the dough into a flat round disk and wrap in plastic or wax paper and chill for 1-2 hours. Or longer. I actually got busy and didn't do anything with mine until the next morning, and it came out just fine. Like I said, this dough is very sticky, so it has to be cold or else it's a nightmare to work with.
When ready to bake, preheat over to 350 degrees and roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. I rolled mine between pieces of wax paper.
You can cut shapes, bake in a 6-inch tart pan for a crust, or do like I did and make crude, irregular shortbread fingers using a pizza cutter and a fork. You're supposed to brush it with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, but the dough was already so soft I was afraid to add any more moisture to it, so I just sprinkled the sugar on top without using any egg wash.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. As you can see, I burnt mine. That's what happens when the timer goes off, I take a peek and decide it needs "just another minute" and then get distracted and forget to reset the timer to remind me when said minute is up.

I was secretly kind of glad I overbaked it, thinking no one would want to eat burnt cookies and that would mean more for me, but that didn't happen. Everybody ate and liked it.

One thing about this recipe, the yield is pretty small. This is actually a good thing for me, because if there are gluten-free cookies in the house, I tend to eat them. Also, the texture is more crisp and snappy (helped by the extra few minutes in the oven, I'm sure) rather than the crumbly texture of traditional shortbread. Still, it's yummy.

Flour Blend #2:
10 oz (1 3/4 cups) white rice flour
7 oz (1 1/4 cups) brown rice flour
3 oz (3/4 cup) potato starch
4 oz (1 cup) tapioca starch

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