These delicious, buttery shortbreads are gluten free, but can also be made with plain wheat flour if preferred. Flavour them with vanilla, lemon and even a touch of dried lavender. Makes 12-14
1½ cups (230g) gluten free plain flour*
½ tsp Xanthan gum* (if required)
small pinch salt
185g unsalted cultured butter, softened
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)
1 egg yolk
finely grated rind from 1 lemon and/or 2 tsp dried lavender for cooking (optional)
Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan forced)
Place the mixing bowl onto the stand mixer and attach the wire whisk and pouring shield. Add flour, gum (if required) and salt to the bowl. Turn to speed 1 and whisk until combined. Remove flour mix from the bowl and set aside.
Place the mixing bowl on the stand mixer and attach the flat beater. Add the butter to the mixing bowl. Turn to speed 6 and beat for 1 minute. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on speed 1 to combine. Increase to speed 6 and beat for 7 minutes or until light and fluffy, wiping the sides down regularly with a spatula.
Turn off the mixer. Add the flour, egg yolk, lemon rind (if using) and/or lavender (if using) and beat on speed 1 until combined. Increase to speed 4 and mix until a dough begins to form. Do not over mix.
Remove mixture from bowl and lightly knead. The dough will be very soft. Form into a ball and cover in plastic wrap then rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Roll the dough to approx. 1.25cm thick and cut into desired shape/s. Place onto the prepared trays leaving space between them as they will spread during baking.
Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool completely before carefully removing to a cooling rack. Shortbread will keep for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container in a cool place.
- Many commercial gluten free flours now have a 'gum' already added. Please check the label. If no gum is listed on the packaging please add the Xanthan gum to the flour. The gum gives firmness and helps prevent crumbling.
- For standard wheat based shortbread: replace gluten free flour and Xanthan gum with a good quality plain flour.