Recipe: Gluten-free shortbread by Tina Galhaut

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Gluten-free Shortbread

Makes 12 cookies


1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place rack in middle of oven for even, quick baking.

In a large mixing bowl use a hand mixer on medium speed to combine the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla.

Using a plastic scraper or wooden spoon add the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl and incorporating into the butter mixture.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a ball; pressing down and turning the dough to keep from sticking to the surface until you have the thickness you prefer your cookies.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a cookie cutter cut cookies, placing them on the parchment covered baking sheet. Repeat step 4 until all dough has been used.

Bake on middle rack of a 400-degree preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool cookies on a baker’s rack.

Melt the chocolate chips in a small pot on low heat. When completely melted remove from heat and cover the tops of your cookies with melted chocolate. I use the back of a soup spoon or plastic spatula/scraper to coat them evenly. Place the chocolate-covered cookies on a plate and refrigerate until chocolate sets.

A few notes on gluten-free baking

Remember without gluten the cookies won’t hold their shape, especially with the ratio of butter to all-purpose flour. I have had to let go of the expectation of perfectly formed gluten-free cookies — especially around the holidays! Instead I concentrate on taste and decoration. I follow the K-I-S-S rule (Keep It Simple, Silly!) and enjoy the result.

I made two different batches and had no trouble with re-rolling the unused dough from each batch. Don’t be afraid to handle the dough and rehandle it. The brown sugar lends a nice richness to the cookies and a less sweet more savory finish I prefer.

Happy baking, remember the more you practice the better you will become and the more comfortable you will be with gluten-free flour! As always, remember to double check all your ingredients are gluten-free if you’re intention is to have a 100 percent gluten-free end product.

Tina Galhaut has been cooking, baking and living gluten-free these past four years, testing many recipes on her teenage son, Logan, until they are as good or better than the original. As wife, mother and co-owner of Z Bistro in North Carson, Tina and her chef husband Gilles offer many gluten-free selections on their menu. Contact Tina by email at


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