Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies really kick off the holiday season for me. They are also my cookie of choice to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. My logic here is that old saint Nicholas must be eating billions on cookies and if it were me, I’d be craving a slightly less sweet, more savoury cookie to cut through all that sugar. Plus the glass of Irish Whisky I leave out pairs well with a more buttery cookie choice.
The method for making Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies is one that requires less finesse than other holiday cookies and you can get away with being heavy handed here. Which makes this the perfect baking experience to share with your kids or if you don’t want to worry about being delicate. The perfect Shortbread Cookie texture will have a crisp outer layer that gives way to a crumbly centre that melts away with each bit. The trick for Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies is to have enough butter so they are moist but not so much that they lose their shape and taste greasy.
Why you need this Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookie recipe in your life:
- These Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies lean on the savoury side of cookies so you can get away with eating them anytime of day. I’m always Team Breakfast Cookie!
- Great recipe to make with little ones around the holidays as you don’t have to be too delicate or worry about perfection as they are nearly impossible to ruin.
- Shortbread lends well to aging so feel free to make ahead of time and store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Perfect for gifting!
list of the ingredients needed to make these Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies:
- Butter. This is the most important ingredient in this recipe when it comes to quality. These cookies are almost entirely made up of butter and this is the dominating flavour so make sure to buy a slightly higher quality butter. Not only for flavour but it will have a lower percentage of water which will help keep the cookies moist.
- Granulated Sugar. Granulated sugar provides a nice balance of sweetness and texture for this Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie recipe. You can substitute for Caster or Berry sugar for a finer crumb.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend. I used my All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend. The recipe for the blend can be found here. In a pinch I will often use Cup4Cup gluten free flour blend. If you are new to gluten free baking or are unfamiliar with the difference variations of Gluten Free Flour Blends, check out this article I wrote for Food Bloggers of Canada, where I explain how to find the right Gluten Free Flour for you.
- Corn Starch. The addition of corn starch in shortbread cookies is what gives them that crumbly texture while also making sure they melt in your mouth.
- Kosher Salt. If all you have is table salt you will need to use much less as table salt is much stronger than kosher salt due to the different granule size. Only use about ¼ tsp or a pinch of table salt to ½ tsp of kosher salt.
- Orange or Lemon Zest. This is an optional ingredient but creates a nice balance between all the butter and flour.
How to make these Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies:
Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F and prepare a baking sheet with a silpat or baking parchment.
Using a wooden spoon, combine butter, sugar, salt and orange zest (if using). Make sure not to cream/aerate as this will cause the cookies to spread while baking.
Add gluten-free flour blend and corn starch, mix until just combined. Knead the dough until it just comes together. Don’t overwork the dough as the cookies will become tough.
Form the dough into a disk and roll into 15 x 23cm with 1cm thickness. Cut into 2.3 x 7.5cm rectangles. Prick with fork and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Turn the oven down to 150°C/300°F and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are just starting to turn golden. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
Pastry Chef Tips and Tricks:
- For cookies that hold their shape, chill prepared cookies for 30 minutes before baking.
- For different flavoured Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie, add your flavours during the creaming process as this allows the inclusions to absorb into the butter and will help the flavour come through. Some suggestion that I really enjoy includes orange/lemon zest, dried rosemary or lavender, toffee chips, or sprinkles for a pop of colour.
- When the cookies are baked and cooled, dip them in chocolate for an extra special treat. If you want the cookies to stay looking fresh for 1-2 weeks, make sure to temper your chocolate or use Candy Melts instead.
How to Store Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies:
Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks Days. Refrigerated dough will keep for 2-4 days.
You can also freeze the dough, wrapped in cling-film and in a Ziplock freezer bag for up to three months. Allow dough to thaw in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for best results.
Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies
- 230 g Unsalted Butter
- 125 5 Granulated Sugar
- 280 g Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- 70 g Corn Flour or White Rice Flour
- 10 g Corn Starch
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 Navel Orange (Zest Only)
- Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F and prepare a baking sheet with a silpat or baking parchment. Using a wooden spoon, combine butter, sugar, salt and orange zest (if using). Make sure not to cream/aerate as this will cause the cookies to spread while baking.
- Add gluten-free flour blend and corn starch, mix until just combined. Knead the dough until it just comes together. Don’t overwork the dough as the cookies will become tough.
- Form the dough into a disk and roll into 15 x 23cm with 1cm thickness. Cut into 2.3 x 7.5cm rectangles. Prick with fork and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Turn the oven down to 150°C/300°F and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are just starting to turn golden. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
If you are looking for more Christmas inspired gluten-free recipes to bake up this holiday season make sure to try one of these:
DID YOU MAKE ONE OF MY RECIPES? tag me on Instagram at @kiramcmullan and hashtag it #kirainthekitchen