For gatherings, parties, or events, gluten-free shortbread cookies are the perfect dessert to make. Their crumbly texture and buttery flavor are often favored by many. You can make the dough beforehand and store it in the freezer until you need it. Making this recipe very convenient.
Shortbreads originated from Scotland. Traditionally shortbreads were made of one-part sugar, two-part butter, and three-part flour. Furthermore, you can alter shortbread's flavor for special occasions by adding spices, making them versatile. I tend to love making shortbread cookies for gatherings and holidays because I can make a lot of them in a short amount of time.
My first gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe was a failure. The cookie did not hold its shape, and it spread in the oven. However, after multiple attempts, I finally figured out the correct ratios to make the best gluten-free shortbread cookies! For this recipe, we will be using the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter at room temperature
- Granulated sugar
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour, I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
- Xanthan gum
- Vanilla Extract
The Foundation of your Cookie
The most essential ingredients are butter, granulated sugar, and flour, as they are the base of shortbread cookies. Hence, make sure to get the best butter you find, as the final result will significantly depend on the butter quality.
Meanwhile, for the sugar, I use granulated sugar instead of icing sugar. When I first tried this recipe, I used icing sugar. However, the cookies did not hold their shape and flattened in the oven. This is because icing sugar tends to melt faster in the oven making the cookies spread.
For the flour, I use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. If you have your own mix that you make at home, give it a shot. However, weigh your ingredients using a scale. This will provide you with more accurate results and help maintain the correct ingredient ratio needed to obtain your gluten-free shortbread cookies. Besides, we will be using xanthan gum and cornstarch to provide the shortbread cookies with structure and strength to prevent them from spreading.
On the other hand, the vanilla extract and salt will provide the cookies with flavor and highlight the butter's flavor.
Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookie Dough
Once all your ingredients are combined, you will notice that the dough is crumbly, and this is intended. However, to make it easier to handle, we will add a bit of milk. This will add some moisture to the dough, making it a bit easier to shape. You can substitute the milk with water if you desire.
The dough will look something like this:
To shape your cookies, divide the dough into four equal parts and shape each part into a circle.
Using a roller, roll the dough flat to a thickness of 4 mm and cut your shapes.
Cutting your cookie dough will require patience as the dough is difficult to deal with. Hence, it is crucial to divide the dough into four small circles before cutting your shapes.
If the dough is sticking to your roller pin and equipment, wipe a bit of olive oil on them. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your cooking equipment.
After shaping your cookies, place them on a baking sheet and chill them for at least 30 minutes before baking them.
Cooling them will help the cookies maintain their shape in the oven and provide the crumbly texture that shortbread cookies are famous for.
Bake the cookies at 180 degrees celsius for 10 - 12 minutes until the edges are golden. Then let the cookies cool to room temperature before serving.
Feel free to decorate the cookies with icing or dip them in chocolate. I melted some white and dark chocolate, dipped some of the cookies in them, and then decorated them with sprinkles.
Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies
- 100 grams of Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
- 80 grams of Granulated Sugar
- 250 grams of GF All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ teaspoon of Salt
- ½ teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
- 1 tablespoon of Cornstarch
- 4 tablespoon of Milk
- In a stand-alone mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth. Then add the sugar, vanilla extract, and beat until creamy. (Don't beat until fluffy).
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, xanthan gum, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Keep beating the dough until all the ingredients are combined, and the dough is crumbly.
- If the dough is too crumbly and cannot be shaped into four separate balls, add 4 tablespoon of Milk/Water and mix at low speed until combined.
- Now divide the dough into four separate balls.
- Afterward, roll one of the dough balls flat (4 mm thickness) and shape your cookies.
- Place the shortbread cookies a few centimeters apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Repeat steps 6 to 7 until you are out of dough.
- Chill the shortbread cookies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180° degree celsius.
- Remove the shortbread cookies from the fridge and bake them for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature before decorating or serving.