Over the years, as I have been able to identify more of my food allergies and sensitivities, I have discovered a full blown allergy to almonds and almond meal. In fact, the only nuts I do tolerate are walnuts, pecans and pistachios. As a result, I have abandoned some of my earlier recipes which used almond meal. This year, I had a craving for shortbread cookies and knew I would have to come up with a recipe that didn’t include almond meal. While browsing the LCBO magazine “Food and Drink” December 2012, I came across several different shortbread cookie recipes. One in particular caught my eye. It is titled “Royal Shortbreads from Buckingham Palace”. I decided to try converting it to a gluten free recipe. I also decided to cut it into shapes rather than fingers, as suggested in the original recipe. The results were everything I could have hoped for! I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as my family does.
Preheat the oven to 350F 0r 180C
1 ¾ cups gluten free flour:
• ¾ cup millet flour
• ½ cup sorghum flour
• ½ cup sweet rice flour
• 2 tsp xanthan gum
¼ cup tapioca starch
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup icing sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
Combine the flours, xanthan gum, salt, icing sugar, and tapioca starch. Stir well to mix and then sift the mixture.
Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the sifted flour mixture and add the vanilla. Continue mixing until it begins to form a dough ball. Knead the dough until it is soft and pliable. Don’t over work. This can be done in a stand mixer using a dough hook.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with additional millet flour. Using a dusted rolling pin, roll the dough out to a generous ¼ inch thick. Use your favourite cookie cutters to make cookies in festive shapes or cut the dough into rectangles. Place them on parchment paper or a non-stick cook sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Leave enough room between the cookies for them to expand, as they do puff up quite a bit.
Leave on the cookies sheet for 10 minutes before removing them to a cookie rack for cooling.
Dust them lightly with granulated sugar, if you wish. Makes about 24 cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutters.