Sunday, December 18, 2011

Almond Shortbread

It is Christmas in a few days, and therefore I wanted some delicious cookies. The best cookie ever in my opinion is a delicious butter shortbread cookie. We used to buy Walker's shortbread a couple of times each winter as a special treat; at the time six dollars seemed like an exorbitant price for a box of cookies (but is pretty typical for GF cookies). Much of the beauty of shortbread is in its simplicity: just flour, butter, sugar, and a little vanilla and salt. When I tried to de-glutenize (I have decided that this should be a word) my original shortbread recipe, I got a hideous melted mess. I tried again, with a recipe adapted from this, and had success. In time for Christmas.

Almond Shortbread

Dry ingredients
½ c sorghum flour (66 g)
¼ c almond meal (30 g)
¼ c cornstarch (33 g)
¼ c brown rice flour (33 g)
¼ tsp sea salt (use 1/8 tsp if your butter is salted)
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp baking powder

½ cup butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (70 g)
½ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a separate, larger bowl, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla together with an electric mixer (or use a stand mixer). Don't overmix the butter and sugar. Add the flour mixture to the bowl about ½ cup at a time, blending well with the mixer each time. Eventually, you will end up with a crumbly mixture of dough.

Crumbly dough.

You can combine the dough together, roll it out then chill it, and use cookie cutters, but I thought a roll of cookies would be easier. To do this, I piled the dough-crumbs on a piece of parchment paper, and used the paper to help roll all of the crumbs together in a cohesive lump. Squish the dough into a fairly-even log shape.  

Squish the crumbs together using the parchment paper.

Log of dough.

Once you are happy with the shape, wrap it up and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes Edit 7/14/12: chill at least 30 minutes to avoid a melted cookie mess. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into ¼ inch rounds. Carefully lay these on a baking sheet lines with a silpat or parchment paper.

Pierce the cookies with a fork several times, this will allow steam to escape, which makes for a crisper shortbread. Edit 7/14/12: Chill the cookie sheet and cookies for another 15-30 minutes, this will help prevent spreading cookies.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Err on the side of an oven that is too cool rather than too hot if you have an unreliable oven like I do; if the oven is too hot, these melt and spread and fall apart into crumbs.  

This was a very tasty cookie that reminds me a lot of Walker's shortbread that I used to love.

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