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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookie Slabs

Every morning growing up my mom would give us cookies for breakfast. Yes, cookies, and we loved every minute of it. On the kitchen breakfast table, my brother Bernardo and I would find our favorites—Chips Ahoy! Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, Archway Soft Iced Oatmeal Cookies and Peek Freans Nice Cookies. But when the holidays rolled around, there would be a shining tin of shortbread cookies, each variety nestled in its fluted white paper wrapper. My favorites were the ones with the bumpy sugar coating. There’s just something about that crunch.

This memory led me to make my own shortbread cookies—gluten-free and dairy-free, of course. Luckily, shortbread dough is one of the most forgiving doughs I’ve ever worked with—and it can adapt to suit your needs and desires. Shape it into a log or roll it out into a crust. Stir in some cocoa powder, spices, chopped dried fruit, citrus zest or even a splash of eggnog, it won’t mind. And, of course, you can always dip your cooled baked cookies in melted chocolate to coat. I don’t think anyone would mind that.

 Gluten-Free Shortbread Slabs

The dough is a bit crumbly—just the way you want it.

Gluten-Free Shortbread Slabs

Here, I shaped the dough into squares, brushed on a little beaten egg white and sprinkled over sanding sugar to coat completely.

For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at Gluten-Free 101.


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Makes: Depends on the size of your cookie cutter
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1¼ cups Silvana’s Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1¼ cups finely ground blanched almonds, such as Honeyville
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, buttery sticks or shortening, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white, beaten
Sanding sugar

If you prefer straight edges instead of rounded, just refrigerate the cut-out cookies for about 30 minutes before baking.

1. Preheat the oven to 325º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the flour, ground almonds and salt to a food processor; pulse until blended.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla on low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Place onto a confectioners’ sugar or flour dusted piece of parchment paper; shape into a flat disk. Wrap in the parchment and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Roll the dough out on the same piece of parchment until ½-inch thick; cut into shapes with a cookie cutter or cut into squares or rectangles with a pizza wheel. Place the cookies about ½-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet; brush lightly with the egg white and sprinkle generously with the sanding sugar. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

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9 Comments: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookie Slabs

Tammy Said:

These look divine! And no eggs either unless you wanted it for the sugar coating. How much baking soda though, it looks like that might be missing from the recipe. I can’t wait to make these!!

silvana Said:

Hi Tammy, thanks for your comment! There’s no need for any leavening here, like baking soda, baking powder or eggs. Hope you enjoy! Talk soon, Silvana

Tammy Said:

Thank you! I thought I had seen baking soda in the directions. This just makes them easier.

Mylesjacobsmom Said:

We are also NUT free…would it be a huge deal to omit them…

silvana Said:

Hi Mylesjacobesmom, just swap in more of my gluten-free flour blend and that should do the trick:

Annie Said:

Could we swap coconut oil for the butter? We’re dairy and soy free as well. Also could we use Xylitol to make a diabetes friendly version?


Cathy Wiley Said:

I am newly on gluten free and have no idea where to find gluten free all-purpose flour

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