Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies - Gluten Free Goodness
Have you noticed the expansion of gluten free baking options available in the supermarket? When I was growing up, I had never heard of gluten free anything. In fact, I wasn't aware that gluten could cause digestive problems until about 1990. One of my co-workers gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. While she was still in diapers, this poor child began having terrible digestive problems. It was very scary. After many visits to many doctors, it was discovered that the child had celiac disease. Her mother searched the internet for ingredients and other food items which were gluten free. Back then, she didn't have much luck.
Today, gluten-free foods and ingredients are readily available. You can buy gluten free baking mixes to make breads, cakes, cookies, muffins and more. If you want to bake from scratch, the necessary ingredients to stand in for gluten to give baked goods structure are on your grocer's shelves. Gluten free recipes abound on the internet and in cookbooks.
One of my favorite recipe sources, King Arthur Flour, has a whole segment of its recipe page devoted to gluten free baking. I have made a number of the cookie recipes and they are wonderful. One of my favorite cookies, Almond Clouds, is gluten free. And then there's peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. Wow! And these recipes are easy to make.
Today, I am making a new gluten free cookie recipe - almond flour shortbread cookies. I am a sucker for a shortbread cookie. Remember Lorna Doones? Mom always had a box in the cupboard to have with a cup of tea. Girl Scout Trefoils? I always pick up a box or two when the scouts come calling. These almond flour shortbread cookies are delightful little treats, not too sweet, and just right with a cup of tea. See those small flecks in the cookie? Vanilla bean. Need I say more.
Like the other gluten free cookies I have made, these shortbread cookies have just a handful of ingredients - only five to be exact. Butter, almond flour, confectioner's sugar, salt and vanilla. That's it.
It takes only a few minutes to measure and mix the ingredients together. Scoop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls and place on the sheet (lined with parchment of course). Press them down with the tines of a fork like a peanut butter cookie and bake for only 8 to 10 minutes. Because of the lack of gluten in these cookies, they are very delicate when they first come out of the oven. Let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes before sliding them off with the parchment sheet to cool completely. This is a good cookie to make when you are pressed for time. I made a single batch in about 35 minutes, including baking time.
Almond flour shortbread cookies are delicious as is. But you could change them up by changing the flavoring - fiori di sicilia would be good. Or by adding in some orange zest and chopped cranberries. KAF's recipe offers suggestions for variations on the basic recipe. You can also use the cookie as the base for a thumbprint cookie. I experimented with how that would taste by dabbing a bit of peach jam on a cookie. Delish! Next time I am in the mood for a thumbprint cookie, I am going to use this shortbread as the cookie base.
It's time for a cup of tea and a cookie (or two). Happy baking!
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