Shortbread Cookies (gluten-free)
Accompanying article: Sugar and Quality Sweeteners
When I want an exceptionally tender sugar cookie, I make this shortbread using rice flour and whole cane sugar. You may purchase rice flour or grind your own in a flour or nut or seed mill. When making your own rice flour, use only short-grain brown or white rice (curiously enough, long-grain rice flour yields a soggy, coarse crumb).
Makes 2 dozen cookies
1 cup white or brown, short-grain rice (or 1 1/3 cup rice flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Rapadura or Sucanat (or other quality sugar)
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 °F. Grease cookie sheet.
Grind rice in a flour or nut or seed mill (or use 1 1/3 cup rice flour). Stir in baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter and Rapadura until light and fluffy. Add yolks and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Fold in dry ingredients until blended. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll between palms of hands to form 3/4-inch balls. Set the balls 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies by pressing into each with the tines of a fork or with two fingers.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes or until the bottom is lightly browned and the cookies are lightly colored. The cookies are fragile when hot and so carefully transfer to a cooling rack (or allow to cool on the cookie sheet).
Variation: For raspberry tartlets, spread a cookie with raspberry jam (warm the jam if necessary to facilitate spreading). Arrange fresh raspberries on cookie.
May you be well nourished,