Basic Shortbread Cookie: Gluten-Free

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This cookie recipe can be used as a base for so many different kinds of cookies. Just replace the ginger and lemon with other flavors and top with sprinkles, sugar, chopped nuts, powdered sugar, shredded coconut – use your imagination.shortbread

1/3 cup vegetable shortening
¾ cup sugar (evaporated cane juice)
pinch ground ginger
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2¼ cups white rice flour
1½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup applesauce
2 teaspoons flax meal in ¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum. Set aside. In a small bowl beat together flax seed and water. Add in applesauce and mix well. In a large bowl cream together shortening and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in flax/applesauce mixture and beat until smooth. Add in vanilla. With mixer on low, slowly add in flour mixture. Mix until completely incorporated and dough is uniform.

For shaped cookies using a cookie cutter my method is a little different than the traditional one. Place the dough on a sheet of wax paper dusted with potato starch. Dust another sheet and place on top of dough. Use a rolling pin on top of the wax paper to roll dough out to about ¼ inch thick. Remove top sheet of wax paper. Use cookie cutters to cut dough. Move the cutters into the dough to insure cuts are clean. Carefully remove the remaining dough away from the cookies and set aside. With a spatula, gently and carefully remove one cookie at a time and place on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Form a ball with remaining dough and repeat until all the dough is used up. The little bit of dough remaining that can not be rolled and cut can be molded into shapes by hand and placed on the cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 350oF. Bake cookies 6-8 minutes, until lightly brown around the edges. Remove immediately and cool on wire racks.

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