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Recently the New York Times reprinted a 2012 recipe for sugared shortbread that boasts only five ingredients: flour, rice flour (or cornstarch), sugar, sea salt and butter. I saw at a glance that I could easily convert it to gluten-free by substituting Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, and last weekend I put my theory to the test.
The recipe gives the quantities of ingredients in both measurements and grams, so I used my kitchen scale to weigh all the ingredients in grams, zeroing out the scale before each addition.
The recipe recommends rice flour but allows for the substitution of cornstarch, which I used since I happened to be out of rice flour.
The batter went together quickly and held together nicely as I spread it in the parchment-lined pan. This recipe couldn’t be easier, whether you’re making it GF or not.
Immediately after removing the shortbread from the oven I lifted it from the pan, sprinkled it with more sugar and then sliced it warm. (Attempting to slice shortbread after it’s cooled is likely to result in a pile of crumbs.)
Straight from the oven it was very soft, but after cooling a half hour or so it was just firm enough to eat. It was rich, delicious and completely authentic-tasting. Hubby declared he wouldn’t have known it was gluten-free.
I left it on the counter overnight, wrapped in its baking parchment inside a plastic bag, and the next day it had achieved the dense, buttery texture associated with good shortbread. So my recommendation is to try to restrain yourself from eating it until the day after it’s baked. It will be difficult, but worth it.
By the way, the tartan used as a backdrop in the photo at the top of this page? That’s my family clan tartan that I got on my first visit to Scotland, last year. I was pleasantly surprised that gluten-free shortbread was widely available in Scotland – but this recipe is better.
Do you have a gluten-free shortbread recipe? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!