Shortbread cookies are a staple cookie that acts as a base for toppings or stands alone as a classic crisp treat. Many other cookies, such as jam thumbprint cookies, start as a simple shortbread recipe before jelly is added to the center. You can enjoy these plain or with any addition you like!
To make a buttery shortbread, the most crucial ingredient is all-natural butter. Using high-quality butter in a recipe like this sends it over the top. And since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, the main ingredient should shine. Using an imported Irish butter that is deeply yellow in color is the perfect addition.
Since this is a gluten-free recipe, all-purpose gluten-free flour is used. By using a 1 to 1 gluten-free flour, you can interchange that flour with any recipe that is not gluten-free, and have a perfect result. This is the most convenient flour to have in the house if you are just beginning your gluten-free journey.
Otherwise, more experienced people who avoid gluten may have their own blend of flours that they like to use for baking. If this is the case, go ahead and sub your favorite flour. Keep in mind that different flours can change the recipe if you are not careful.
To make this shortbread cookie even more unique, these are piped onto the baking sheet into ladyfinger-type shapes. A ladyfinger is a light and delicate cookie typically used in tiramisu. These shortbread cookies are slightly denser than ladyfinger cookies. Either way, this method allows for a unique and creative look to a traditional shortbread cookie. If you do not have experience using a piping technique, this recipe is the perfect one to give a try.
More advanced bakers could use a star tip along with a piping bag for this recipe. The star tip gives a fun look and texture to the cookies. The ridges created on the cookie from the star tip will get nicely browned in the oven, showing off your awesome baking skills!
This cookie dough can also handle a few additions, such as vanilla bean paste or almond extract. The recipe as written is simplified so that it is easier to make, but the additional options are endless!
After this cookie is baked and cooled, the shortbread gives a satisfying crunch with a lightly sweet flavor. This makes it the perfect vessel for chocolate-hazelnut spread, jam, cookie butter, or for simply dipping into a cup of hot coffee.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Be sure to read the full instructions before beginning this recipe.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar and mix until fully combined.
Check your flour to see if there is gum already in the mix. Add the flour, baking powder, and optional xanthan gum, if not in the flour already. Mix well.
In a gallon-sized ziptop bag, add the cookie batter and move it to one end of the bag. Seal it completely, removing all the air from the bag that you can. Snip off one bottom corner of the piping bag so that there is a ½-inch hole. Pipe the cookies onto the parchment paper in 2-inch long cookies by pushing the dough out of the cut opening, trying to make them as even as possible. You can snip each end of the cookie with kitchen shears for a uniform look. Also, be sure that there is room in between each cookie. You could use a piping tip or bag for this process. Using a star tip would make a pretty design on the cookies!
Bake 5-10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Serve alone or with optional coffee, jam, or Nutella for dipping.