Thursday, 19 December 2013

Gluten Free Shortbread

Although shortbread is available all year round, there is something about Christmas and those buttery sweet treats that goes so beautifully together.  Well, in fact, in Scotland it would be rude not to serve up a plate of shortbread at some point around Christmas and New Year!

Move over macaroons I say, because the humble shortbread is not only so much easier to make, but that buttery, soft, melt-in-the-mouth texture, combined with the nostalgia of home baked shortbread having adorned grandmas bikkie tin for years, makes these simple pleasures a beautiful gift for loved ones.

And for those of us avoiding gluten, the shortbread lends itself beautifully to a gluten free version due to the inherent crumbly and 'short' texture.  I don't find all that much of a difference between a wheat and gluten free version, which is a nice change!!

So whilst you can simply press the mix into a slice tin and run a knife through it straight after baking to make into fingers, this year I chose to make them extra Christmassy by pressing the mix out into Christmas shapes and making a hole in the top with a straw to create an ornament effect!    

Either way, get yourself some butter, GF flour and sugar and get cooking!
Gluten Free Shortbread (recipe sourced from 'Wheat & Gluten Free', Jody Vassallo

Gluten free shortbread


250g butter (softened if using conventional method)
125g pure icing sugar
375g gluten free plain flour
milk and sugar (if desired) for brushing over the biscuits

Royal icing ingredients

165g pure icing sugar, sieved
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg white

Method - Conventional

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius.  Line two trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and icing sugar until light and creamy.  Add the flour and stir until the mixture forms a soft dough.
  3. Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes.  Roll the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 1 cm thick. Using your preferred cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on prepared trays.
  4. Lightly brush the top of the shortbread with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar. (I didn't sprinkle with sugar as I iced mine with royal icing instead)
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and lightly golden.  Cool slightly on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Decorate with prepared royal icing if desired.
  7. For royal icing, place sugar and cream of tartar in a medium bowl.  Gradually add egg white, whisking with an electric mixer until the mixture forms a thick white paste.  Spoon icing into a piping bag and decorate as desired.

Method - Thermomix

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius.  Line two trays with baking paper.
  2. Place butter and sugar in TM bowl and whip on speed 7 for 30-40 seconds, or until lighter in colour.
  3. Add flour and mix on speed 3 for 30 seconds.  Mixture will be quite crumbly but after some kneading and rolling out it will come together.
  4. Follow steps 3-6 as above.
  5. For royal icing, place all ingredients in clean and dry TM bowl.  Mix on speed 2 for 5 seconds to combine then whip on speed 9 for 30 seconds.  Add butterfly to bowl and whisk on speed 4 for another 30 seconds.  Spoon icing into a piping bag and decorate as desired.