Shortbread cookies are my all time favorite Christmas treat. I love the buttery flavour and melt in your mouth texture. I used my Mom’s recipe as a guide and really didn’t change anything other than using rice flour instead of all purpose and xylitol in lieu of icing sugar. Most gluten free baking requires a binder such as xanthan gum but shortbread is known for it’s crumbly texture so I would advise against it. I also wouldn’t use any strongly flavoured gluten free flours such as chickpea or even the Bob’s Redmill mix, rice flour is the perfect, light flour to use for these cookies.
Gluten & Sugar Free Shortbread Cookies
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup xylitol (ground into powder)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening*
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine*
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a magic bullet or high speed blender, grind the xylitol into a fine powder so it resembles icing sugar, this is what helps give the cookie that melt in your mouth texture. You will want to remeasure the xylitol after this step. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the margarine & shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture becomes crumbly. At this point you can either roll the dough into 1 inch balls or roll out to 1/2 thickness and cut out using your favorite cookie cutter. I like to roll them into balls, place on baking sheet and press a pecan into each cookie. Bake for 20 minutes. You have to be very careful when you take them out of the oven, if you try to transfer them to the cooling rack too soon they will likely fall apart. Let them cool on the pan first and then transfer to cooling rack.
* You could also use 3/4 cup Earth Balance buttery flavoured sticks instead of the shortening/maragine combo.