Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear
Evidently, there is somewhat of a controversy about whether or not to use vanilla in shortbread. Some say it is not real shortbread with it and others say shortbread is better with it. I decided to look at the Walker box and there was no vanilla so I left it out. There was also some contention about what kind of sugar to use, brown, white or confectioner’s. Again, I looked to the Walker box for guidance. Regular sugar it is. Then some recipes urged the use of corn starch and or rice flour for authentic Scottish shortbread. I figured that with GF baking I would be using tapioca flour anyway which is equal in texture to cornstarch and then decided to use some sweet rice flour in the blend with sorghum flour as well.
Usually GF dough is wetter and harder to work with than wheat dough, but this recipe was easy to form and roll. The instructions called for kneading the dough for ten minutes. I could not figure out why this was necessary so I kneaded it just enough to get it to together. I rolled the dough out between two sheets of wax paper. Some other recipes called for pressing the dough into the pan by hand.
My only worries were how long to bake the shortbread. The time varied so much in the various recipes from 40 minutes to an hour. The instructions were to bake them until hard in the center and just golden brown on the edges. I was afraid to go by the color as GF dough is not the same color as wheat flour dough and it is tricky to tell if it is just brown enough before you really go too far and it is overdone. I watched it like a hawk after the first 30 minutes of baking. I peeked at least every 5 minutes. At 40 minutes I pulled it out of the oven. It looked golden enough for me. Though the center was not completely hard, I knew from my baking experience that often a butter cookie will harden more after cooling.
The cookies smell wonderful and taste as good as they smell. The warm cookies are crisp yet tender and a bit crumbly. Once cooled completely they remain tender and hold together well. I am told that the Walker cookies are much harder in texture and require a firm bite to eat them. These cookies require only a gentle bite.
*Just wanted to add that it does make a difference what type of butter you use. I made it with regular unsalted butter and it was good, but with a good quality butter (I used Organic Valley brand) these cookies are absolutely amazing.
GLUTEN FREE SCOTTISH SHORTBREAD
|1/2 cup||Unsalted Butter|
|1/4 cup||Sugar - I used evaporated cane juice crystals|
|1/2 cup||Sorghum Flour|
|3/4 cup||Tapioca Flour|
|1/4 cup||Sweet Rice Flour|
|1/4 tsp.||Sea Salt|
|1/2 tsp.||Xanthan Gum|
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 7” square baking pan by lining it with a 7” wide strip of parchment paper that hangs over 2 sides of the pan. This paper will make it easy to remove the cookies without breaking them. It will also protect the bottom of the pan from marks when you cut the cookies into shapes with a knife.
|7" Square pan lined with a strip of parchment paper.|
In a separate bowl add the flours, salt and xanthan gum and mix until well blended. Add the flour mixture, all at once, to the butter mixture and mix with a fork or with the paddle blade of the mixer until just mixed.
|Flour mixture just mixed into the butter mixture with an electric mixer.|
|Dough kneaded until it holds together.|
|Dough rolled out between wax paper.|
Using a ruler to slide the dough edges into a square.
|Dough formed into a square about 1/2 inch thick & ready to be put into the pan.|
|Raw dough in the pan, patted down evenly and cut into 24 bars.|
There are 3 rows, each with 8 bar-shaped cookies.
|Making lots of holes with a wooden skewer.|
Make sure you push the skewer to the bottom of the pan each time.
|Raw dough with all the holes and all the bar shapes cut.|
|Baked cookies in pan. The lines are all cut again with a sharp knife|
while the cookies are still pretty warm.