Had a little bash at making some gluten free shortbread biscuits and was delighted with how well they turned out, and thought I’d better get on and share the recipe with you!
I did consider adding other ingredients to this shortbread recipe. But then decided that it was better to share a great basic recipe and let you decide how you want to enjoy these yummy, buttery biscuits. Whether that be to leave them plain, or jazz them up with other bits and bobs you fancy.
You will spot that I have included xanthan gum in this recipe. It isn’t an ingredient I often use (it’s already added to most gluten free self-raising flours). However, for things like shortbread and scones, xanthan gum is beneficial, as it holds the crumb together well and prevents things from being too crumbly when you eat them.
110g (4oz) butter, unsalted or salted will work – It’s a matter of personal taste (leave butter out to soften at room temp for approx 1½hrs before you need it)
50g (2oz) caster sugar
175g (6oz) gluten free plain flour (Sainsburys worked a treat for me on this occasion)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
Extra caster sugar to sprinkle over the biscuits
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5/170C Fan
Lightly grease or lay a sheet of greaseproof paper onto a flat baking tray (approximately 10 x 15 inch).
In a large bowl cream together the softened butter and sugar.
Add the gluten free flour and xanthan gum and mix well. The mixture should all start to come together. At this point it’s best to get your hands in, and like you do with pastry, gently squeeze the mixture together until it forms a ball.
Transfer the shortbread dough onto a clean surface lightly dusted with gluten free flour. It’s best not to over dust with flour, as you don’t want to alter the consistency of the biscuit.
Roll out the dough to about 1cm/½ inch thickness. Then using a cutter of your choice (I used a fluted 2½ inch round, which made 7 biscuits) cut out the biscuits.
With a palette knife, gently lift and lay them onto the baking tray and prick them all over with a fork…..giving them that traditional shortbread look.
Sprinkle the biscuits with caster sugar and pop them into the oven.
Bake for around 20 minutes, until pale golden-brown. Of course, if you do smaller or larger biscuits you will need to adjust the cooking time. Tiny biscuits, the sort that are nice to slip on a saucer to go with a coffee, would only take something like 8-10 minutes.
Allow the biscuits to cool completely before removing them from the tray.
The biscuits will keep in an airtight tin/container for a few days….should they last that long!
Before I go, here are a few suggestions of things that could be added to these delicious shortbread biscuits to make them a little more ‘fancy pants’ ………
Add grated orange zest into the mixture. This would give the biscuits a lovely zing. Shortbread flavoured with orange would work really well served on the side with a rich chocolate mousse!
Grated lemon zest would also be a winner – the lemon infused shortbread could then be transformed into a rather posh pud with, a spoonful of lemon curd, a little crème fresh and some fresh raspberries.
Culinary lavender in shortbread (not something I’ve ever tried) is a big hit with many people.
*Chocolate chips, *fudge pieces, *dried fruit or *nuts would of course be perfect to pop into the shortbread mixture before rolling it out!
And for my final suggestion – and one loved by many – would be to dunk the biscuit into melted *chocolate or decorate them with melted chocolate squiggles!!!
OK, that’s me all done and dusted. Leaving you in peace, so you can head off into that kitchen of yours and bake to your hearts content!
*Check this product out to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out!
This shortbread recipe was taken from BBC food website and adapted to make it gluten free.