Sincerely Carolina

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Day Twenty: Gluten-Free with RR Challenge — Working with An Old-Time Fave

by caroline

When I was younger, Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies were my favorite treat. In fact, up until I found out I have Celiac disease, I could easily toss back an entire sleeve of them (oops!) in one sitting.

I love the shortbread cookie's simple, buttery taste, and the way the crumbs just sort of melt in your mouth. It's heaven.

The funny thing is, my mom started giving me these cookies when I was younger because I couldn't tolerate the "normal" cookies, like Oreos or Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have always suffered from allergies and intolerances that would upset my stomach or skin, and these seemed to be the one treat that I was A-OK to eat. Of course, at the time we had no idea that its ingredients would be something I would someday find out were the root of my problems.

At the time, they just … worked.

So, for me, finding a recipe that would fill my shortbread cookie void became a necessity upon going gluten-free. I guess that's one of the trickier things about eliminating gluten — finding a substitute for the foods you've learned to love. It's not difficult to give up in the sense that the trade-off is entirely worth it. But it's tough to say sayonara to your once favorite dishes and treats.

You can imagine my delight, then, when I discovered a recipe for Shortbread Bites in the April issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. "Amazing!" I thought to myself. It was like the cookie gods and goddesses were calling out to me, "Remember us? Don't forget to make us gluten-free, too!" It was just the push I needed, and so I began.

I was amazed to find out how little ingredients it required to make this delightful cookie. I only had to swap the flour and I was good-to-go. Here's what I came up with for Day 20 of the Gluten-Free with Rachael Ray Challenge:

RR's Ingredients
The G-Spot Used
  • 2 cups of flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, firm but not cold
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, firm but not cold
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

1. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and dust one with flour. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat together 2 cups flour, the butter, sugar, cornstarch and slat until the dough just comes together, about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat.

2. Transfer the dough to the floured baking sheet and press into an 81/2-inch square about 1/3 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Cut into 1-by-1-inch squares and refrigerate until cold, about 15 minutes.

3. Position a rack int the center of the oven and preheat to 275 degrees. Divide the cookies among the remaining two prepared pans and bake one pan at a time, keeping the other refrigerated, until the bottoms of the cookies are golden, 20 to 25 minutes; let cool completely.

 

These cookies are honestly delicious. I was merrily chomping on my fifth one when I realized I should probably back away from the cookies … slowly, very slowly.

The only think I would change next time is, perhaps, adding an additional 1/4 cup of flour just to see if I could get them to be a bit thicker. These thin and crispy ones are tasty, but because I also like my baked goods to fulfill an aesthetic requirement, I wouldn't mind them being a little thicker. The thinness of these ones wiped away the pretty dots and I liked them! :/

 

Note: This recipe is gluten-free. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)

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Today is a busy, busy Friday — writing, baking and prepping a few things for tomorrow's Dorothy Lane Market Health Fair. I love attending events like these and learning about new products and recipes. Should be fun!

I'm curious: Do you have a favorite treat that you have yet to figure out how to make without gluten? Share your thoughts below!