Friday, December 15, 2017

Almond Flour Holiday Shortbread Cookies



Greetings and Happy Holidays! This is always such a fun time of year for baking! I am so happy to be guest posting here again at Honeyville today and sharing another delicious recipe from Gourmet Girl Cooks. The recipes I create are low carb, grain and gluten-free and contain no added sugar.

Today’s recipe is one that I've received numerous requests for. It’s so basic and so simple that I’m not sure why I've never made it before. My recipe is for basic Shortbread Cookies. They are so very easy to make; they use very few ingredients, and they are so delicious with a cup of hot coffee or tea or given the time of year, some eggnog. This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen shortbread cookies. I kept it simple and rolled the dough into a basic log shape using my hands, then chilled it and simply “sliced and baked” them. Who knew something so simple could be so good?

Don’t let these basic plain little cookies fool you though. The variations you can make using this simple dough are endless. If you want to get adventuresome or fancy, you can roll the dough out and cut it into different shapes with cookie cutters (like the Christmas stars I did). You could frost them, dip them in melted chocolate, or add nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips to the dough. You could drizzle them with a simple glaze, or flavor them with a variety of other extracts or citrus zest. You could also whip up a decadent filling and sandwich it between 2 cookies. The sky is the limit and you can let your imagination run wild!

Traditional shortbread cookies are made with flour, butter, and sugar (no eggs or leavening). Since my recipes are gluten-free and sugar-free, I used Honeyville’s blanched almond flour, real butter, and a non-sugar sweetener. I also added a pinch of sea salt to balance the sweetness as well as some vanilla for a subtle hint of flavor. They turned out amazing…amazingly good and amazingly simple. If you’ve never made shortbread cookies before, you are in for a real treat. I’m so thankful to have Honeyville’s blanched almond flour available because I’m now able to enjoy and recreate grain and gluten-free versions of most of my favorite recipes.

I hope you enjoy my gluten-free recipe for Basic Shortbread Cookies. If you’d like to find more grain free, gluten free, no sugar added recipes like this one, please check out my blog, Gourmet Girl Cooks where you will find hundreds of other delicious low carb recipes and meal ideas just like this one.


Shortbread Cookies

Makes 2 dozen 2 ½-inch cookies

Ingredients:
8 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Sea Salt
½ cup Powdered Sugar-Free Sweetener (I used Swerve confectioner’s style)
2 cups Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour
Liquid Stevia, to taste (I used 1 tsp NuStevia simple syrup)

Directions:
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, vanilla, salt and powdered sweetener.  Add almond flour and mix until dough forms. Taste dough for sweetness and if additional sweetness is desired, add tiny amounts of liquid stevia to the dough to achieve desired sweetness.

Scoop the mound of dough into the center of a sheet of plastic wrap, wax paper, or parchment paper. Using your hands, roll dough into an approximate 2-inch diameter cylindrical log; wrap and refrigerate dough until chilled and firm, about 1 hour (the dough can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated for several days).


When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line a USA Pan baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice chilled dough into approximate 1/3-inch thick slices and place on baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool on pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (cookies firm up as they cool).

*Notes: Granular sweeteners (like erythritol, Swerve, Truvia, etc.) can easily be powered by using a small food processor or coffee grinder which helps eliminate the grittiness sometimes created when using these type sweeteners. Variations of this cookie can be made using the basic shortbread cookie dough; dip in melted chocolate, drizzle with glaze, frosting, or using different extracts or citrus zests, to create different flavors (e.g. adding 2 teaspoons of lemon zest to the dough for lemon shortbread cookies). Sandwich type cookies can be created by placing decadent fillings between 2 cookies. Chilled dough can easily be rolled out and cut into different shapes with cookie cutters and then decorated.


*Nutrition Information: For 24 cookies, each cookie contains approximately 2 net grams carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber) and less than 1 gram of sugar.