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Gluten Free Pecan Shortbread

Another baby shower treat. Laurie’s favorite cookies are shortbread so I decided to surprise her by making up a gluten free batch since she hadn’t had one since going gluten free a few months ago.  I start my search for the shortbread recipe with this image in my head from another food blogger that I had recently seen.

Of course I couldn’t find that picture and the search within Google Reader wasn’t proving to be helpful. So when I looked through again I came across a post from Confessions of a Tart cause, well, her cookies looked pretty.

You can substitute almonds for the pecans or any other nuts. I couldn’t see why any other nuts wouldn’t work. Macadamia nuts would be tasty. Especially dipped in chocolate.

These cookies are delicious. Light and crisp. I ate these cookies one after another once they cooled. I told Laurie to nab some before I ate them all. This is saying something since I don’t generally eat shortbread cookies. Well at least plain ones – I’ll eat pretty much anything dipped in chocolate.

Again, (third post in a row, yikes) I apologize for the pictures. Robin snapped these too since I was running around with a chicken with my head chopped off. Then I stupidly gave Laurie the left over ones, what few there were so this is my only picture :/.

Laurie’s pregnancy craving has been watermelon, so I served loads of watermelon too.

The best part of these cookies – you roll the dough out in a ziplock, chill it, then cut open the ziplock  and cut the dough into cookies. Least messy cookies ever. Besides biscotti probably.

Make these. Eat six, keep six more then give the rest away.

Brown Sugar Almond Shortbread

Adapted slightly from Baking, Dorie Greenspan via Confessions of a Tart

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or equal amount of Gluten Free All Purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cloves
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup finely ground pecans (or any other nut)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, and cloves together.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until its very smooth. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the four only mixing until they’re incorporated. Don’t over mix the dough. Add the ground nuts and give the dough a mixes.

Transfer the dough to a gallon ziplock leaving the top unzipped. Roll the dough out until its about 1/4″ thick making sure the dough doesn’t seep onto the locking part of the bag. Once you’ve rolled out the dough, seal the bag getting any air and then chill the dough for at least 2 days. You can chill it for up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using parchment paper or silicon mats line baking sheets.

Open the ziplock with the chilled dough in it and carefully slit up open, along the side seam, and dump out the dough onto a clean surface. Cut the dough into 1.5 inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets. If you feel inclined freeze the baking sheets for about 15 minutes to prevent spreading. If you don’t feel so inclined, the cookies will spread so make sure there’s about two inches between each cookie. Or be prepared for one giant cookie.

Bake for 12-20 minutes (Irene only needed to bake her’s between 12-13 minutes while Dorie says to bake them for 18-20 minutes), rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale – they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.

If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

Yield: 32 cookies

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