The Best Ever Gluten Free Shortbread
Its taken a while but I’ve finally developed a gluten free shortbread recipe that is the perfect combination of melt in the mouth butteryness with a slight crumble. Marks and Spencer’s style, “this isn’t just any old shortbread, this is my Jessica’s Kitchen shortbread” 😉
The recipe below is for simple, vanilla shortbread biscuits but I’ve included a “Variations” section below if you’d like to chuck in some fruit or flavourings.
I’ve also given you an “Ingredients” section, where I describe everything you need. There’s only 3 ingredients. It couldn’t be easier!!!!
Super duper easy. 3 ingredients. Help below:
- Flour – you can actually use self-raising or plain. Self-raising is my preference but doesn’t make a huge amount of difference.
- Stork Block of Butter – wouldn’t recommend anything else!!!!
- Comes in a 250g foil block, NOT a tub – see pic below.
- Costs about 80p. Sometimes comes in prettier packaging (it’s yellow with pink spots at the moment!!) but always says “biscuits and pastry” on the front.
- It’s naturally dairy free too!!
- Caster Sugar – haven’t tried to swap this but would guess white granulated sugar would be fine too. Maybe even golden caster sugar – it might just result in a browner shortbread
Want to add something extra? In Instruction 3, I’ve included an “OPTIONAL” line, where you can add flavourings, choc chips, fruit (raspberries work well), whatever you fancy.
Want to make an iced biscuit (like my avocado and toast pic up the top)?
(1) You can buy icing pens in most supermarkets
…OR Want to make your own? With either of the options below, ideally you need a piping bag and a little nozzle (something like a no. 2). To be honest, you can use the back of a spoon, the end of a paintbrush, a fork and your finger to achieve quite a lot of designs!!
(2) If your design isn’t too intricate, make some regular icing with food colouring
(3) If its a little more complex, I’d opt for royal icing (like I did for the avocado and toast!). It sets with a hard finish, whereas regular icing stays runny. This means (a) you can layer it to add details like the bow or blush cheeks and (b) its a lot easier to pipe lines and shapes, around the outside of the biscuits for example. Two options here:
- You can buy special “royal icing” (purple box) for which you just need to add water. Follow the instructions on the box.
- If you only have regular “icing” (pink box), you just need to add the egg! Sounds weird but bare with me…For every 250g of icing sugar:
- Whisk 1 egg WHITE (not the yolk!!!!) until light and fluffy.
- Add the icing sugar and whisk in.
- Add a little tiny tiny bit of water if its too firm (but it should be quite firm so be careful).
- *Just for your knowledge – Basically option 1 already has the egg white added, so if you’re using regular icing, you need to add it yourself :)*
Top tips: let one colour dry before you add the next and don’t pick up the biscuit and tilt it whilst its still wet as the icing will run everywhere. I did this with my first avocado attempt and I’m still not over it…haha
My Gluten Free Shortbread Recipe
- 230 grams Stork block - see description in the "Ingredients" section of the blog post
- 350 grams gluten free self-raising flour - can also use plain if that's what you've got in the cupboard
- 110 grams caster sugar
- Cream the butter & sugar until smooth and fluffy. >I mix with an electric hand whisk for about 1 min. You could also use a wooden spoon but you'll have to really go for it!!
- Sift in the flour & mix together until JUST combined. I use an electric whisk for this. Could easily use a wooden spoon here. >Don't worry if you haven't got a sieve – just tip it in 😉>"JUST combined" is when you cant see any more white from the flour and its just starting to clump together, like the picture.
- OPTIONAL: at this point, you can add any choc chips, nuts, fruit, whatever you fancy and stir through.
- Use your hands to press the mix together into a few balls in the bowl. It will be crumbly but that's no problem!
- Transfer to a big piece of cling film >I find it easiest to transfer in a ball at a time, in a line. Don’t worry if its falling apart a little.
- Push the balls together and wrap it up tightly. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
The dough is now ready to use however you'd like to! Here's how to make plain shortbread biscuits:
- Pre-heat your oven to 175oC.
- Remove from the fridge, remove the cling film & take a lump of the dough. >It's easiest to do the next bit with about 1/3 of the dough at a time.
- Dust your hands in flour. Make a round-ish ball with the dough in your hands – you can be quite heavy handed with it here, play with it like its playdough for 20 secs.
- Place the ball on a floured surface and use the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Then bash with a rolling pin to flatten a little more>Bashing with the rolling pin helps to stop the shortbread dough from falling apart in the next step.
- Add some flour to your rolling pin and roll out until its about 2cm thick. Cut out your shapes!>If you'd rolled too thin, don't worry just gather the dough together and start again! Add more flour to the rolling pin, work surfaces and your hands. >Shapes: you could use proper cookie cutters, empty tins of beans or cut shapes out of paper and just draw around them with a knife
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, a few cm apart from each other. Place in the oven for 10mins, until the edges are just browning.
- Remove and leave ON THE TRAY until cool. WARNING: if you try to move them before they have cooled, they’ll probably crumble. Don't be tempted to push them around on the tray either!! Just leaaaave them!!!