Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shortbread: Two Flour Mixtures, Two Cookies

Christmas is here, well almost, and that means time to bake and experiment. Last year, I tried to adapt a few recipes and just ended up with cookie spread and a super-sized, ok tasting, ugly looking chocolate chip cookie. I've learned a bit more this year and decided to jump back in and try to adapt some of the family favourites.

My Mom is an amazing cook and baker but the Christmas baking torch has been passed to me in recent years. I wanted to make food the whole family could enjoy without people wishing my mom took over the gluten baking duties. I decided to buy a bag of Bob's Red Mills all purpose baking mix to experiment this holiday season. For the first batch of cookies (star cookie on the left), I used the Bob's Red Mill mix. I love the brand and all they have to offer so I felt pretty confident that the cookies would turn out. Hot out of the oven, I was a bit worried but they cooled to something a lot more tasty. My family likes them but I felt I could taste the garbanzo and fava bean flour so decided to make a second batch with my 1:1:1 sorghum, tapioca, brown rice mix. I like the second batch better as does my dad but my mom likes the first batch. If you have the time, experiment but most of all, enjoy some cookies with your family.

Shortbread adapted from Robin Hood's Favourite:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar (icing sugar should also work)
2 3/4 cups gluten free flour mixture
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 cup gluten free flour for dusting.

In a bowl or mixer, cream butter. Add the sugar gradually, beating until smooth and creamy. Add flour gradually, mixing well after each addition. Mix well until smooth.

Chill dough for easy rolling (about 1 hour as any longer the dough gets too hard). Roll out dough, one portion at a time on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. I found the dough really stuck to the rolling pin so I used my hands a lot. **Remember if you are using a wood rolling pin, make sure it is new or just used for gluten free cooking.

Cut into shapes with floured cutters. Bake at 325ºF for 12 - 18 minutes or until light golden. Before cooking, you can also decorate them but I love the simple, plain shortbread.

Let them cool and age (if you have time) as the flour flavour settles and the butter flavour comes out. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Gluten free baking can be such a huge challenge - I used to live with one of my cousins who had celiacs and we had to get really creative with ingredients, but its always worthwhile in the end because really, what is life without cookies, especially at Christmas :)