Here’s a melt-in-your-mouth gluten-free cookie that tastes so good it makes me a little weak in the knees. They’re perfect for the 8th day of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies hosted by my good friend Maggie from She Let Them Eat Cake.
I know my recipes are usually healthier. I’m not sure there’s much about these cookies fit in that category. There are some things that just aren’t meant to be messed with, and shortbread is one of them.
I’ll tell you the same thing my Chef Instructor told us when we baked really calorie dense desserts – they’re meant to be eaten and enjoyed, not eaten en masse. That means one cookie, not 5. Savor it slowly with a cup of coffee or your afternoon glass of tea.
This recipe has been adapted from Fruit-Sweet and Sugar-Free by Janice Feuer. I got this book several months ago and have been dying to bake the recipes. I just haven’t had the time because of my book. I’ve read her book cover to cover, studying her methods and ingredients. She’s like my long-lost baking soul mate. I’m amazed at how much I think like her.
You see, she uses a liquid fruit sweetener much like agave. Not all of her recipes are gluten-free but she does have many wheat-free options. (This book was written long before gluten-free went mainstream.) She uses frostings similar to mine and even has recipes for my favorites, like banana walnut cake and carrot cake.
Best of all, it’s Chef Feuer. Yes, a pastry chef that uses ingredients I can eat. She’s got solutions to things I’ve been pondering – cake glazes much like the simple syrup used to keep cakes moist, fillings, frostings, custards, glazes, and she even loves carob. I’m so looking forward to spending more time in the kitchen with her.
I do hope you’ll give this shortbread a whirl. And, like I said, eat one and savor it. Make sure you’re sitting down because it’ll make your knees a little weak.
More 12 Days of Christmas Cookies
Visit these lovely ladies for more trusted recipes to add to your Christmas Cookie Tins.
Day 7: Adventures of A Gluten-Free Mom’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Day 6: Cook IT Allergy Free’s Gluten-Free Maple Spice Cookies
Day 5: She Let Them Eat Cake’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Gingerbread
Day 4: The Mommy Bowl’s Peanut Butter Peck Cookies
Day 3: Gluten-Free Life With Jen’s Chocolate Peppermint Wafer Cookies
Day 2: Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom’s Dairy-Free Fudge
Day 1: My Pistchio-Cranberry Biscotti
Serves: about 30 (2½ inch cookies)
- 1 cup toasted pecans, divided
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
- ½ cup agave nectar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Amy’s Basic Flour Blend
- 1½ – 2 cups unsweetened carob chips
- 1½ tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening
- sea salt for sprinkling
- Process ½ cup of toasted nuts in a food processor using the pulse button until finely chopped and set aside.
- Cream the butter and the agave in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. (Please note that this is a different type of light and fluffy than when using white sugar – it’s a little darker in color and looks a little heavier.) Add salt, vanilla extract, and flour blend, and mix on the lowest setting just until blended. Add the processed nuts and mix again just until incorporated. Cover the dough and refrigerate it for 20 – 3o minutes to make it easier to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Process the remaining ½ cup of toasted pecans using the pulse button until finely chopped. Put the chopped pecans on a plate. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough evently, spacing about 1 inch apart. Once the first sheet is full of cookies, roll each dough ball in the nut mixture to coat, roll into a ball and place back onto the tray. Use a flat bottomed glass to press the cookies ¼ inch thick. Put the first tray in the oven. Repeat process with remaining dough.
- Bake one tray at a time for 15 – 18 minutes until the edges start to turn lightly golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack lined with a paper towel to cool completely.
- Once cool, bring one inch of water to boil in a 4 quart saucepan. Put the shortening in the bottom of a glass or stainless steel bowl that will fit snugly on top of the pan. Add 1½ cups carob on top of the shortening. Once the water reaches a boil, turn the heat off and put the bowl on top of the saucepan. Let it sit for several minutes, stirring occasionally to help the carob melt.
- Once melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and dip the cookies halfway into the carob. Shake gently to remove any excess carob. Set coated cookies on waxed paper, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and allow it sit until carob is fully set.