Hi! Yes, I realize that this SHOULD be day four…but I’ve lost a day to sickness this week. And the fact that I’m only one day behind is nothing short of a Christmas miracle. All three of my kids have been down with a virus, my youngest son, getting slammed the hardest. Seems this is his “sick” week–he gets sick this week EVERY year–and he’s spent most of it snuggled in my new, cozy (and now infected) red chenille blanket from Pottery Barn. He will hopefully recover soon…the blanket, maybe never. Sigh. At any rate, I’m back in the kitchen doing what I do best–making a spectacular mess.
Shortbread is on my short list of must-have cookies in my family. In fact, they are the only cookies I remember making with my mom. They were our version of the ubiquitous decorated sugar cookies that everyone seems to make this time of year. We would roll out the dough together, all the while my mother would admonish me to be careful not to work it too much or the cookies would become tough. I, in turn, have passed down this little nugget of info to my own children, who always seem to want to pound and roll the dough into oblivion. But this year, something dawned on me–does it really matter if the cookies are tough? Who eats them anyway? The kids, and Santa of course, but I know him very well (wink wink) and I think that Santa would eat tough cookies anyway because he knows they were made with love. (And also, I’ve relaxed a bit this year because gluten free cookies are less likely to get tough because you can’t overwork the gluten, now can you?)
I made a gluten free tart crust from Blackbird Bakery to go with a Cranberry Frangipane Tart that we enjoy every year at Thanksgiving. One bite told me that the crust would make perfect shortbread cookies–and it does. My kiddos can’t even tell the difference. Neither can Santa.
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (sometimes called tapoica flour)
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup sweet rice flour, plus more for dusting
- 6 tablespoons millet flour
- pinch of sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, diced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- gluten free sprinkles for decorating
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the tapioca starch, cornstarch, sweet rice flour, millet flour, sea salt, xanthan gum and confectioners' sugar. Beat on low to combine. Add the butter and continue to mix on low until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and mix on medium-high until the mixture just comes together.
- Turn out onto a (rice) floured board and knead for several turns. Wrap in plastic and shape into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap. Dust a board (or the table or counter) with rice flour and roll dough out to between ¼ and ⅛ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place 1-inch apart on a cookie sheet that's been lined with parchment paper. Decorate with gluten free sprinkles, if desired.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.