Skip to main content

almond shortbread

Merry Christmas! Have some rich, dense and creamy gluten free (GF) shortbread—a small (but cunning) gift from me to anyone who is gluten-free or loves someone who is… And if everything goes according to plan, it will mean that lots more people will be able to offer home-baked gluten free goodies when I go round for a visit!

My mum’s shortbread was legendary, not least because it lasted for such a short time once she’d baked it… I have modified her recipe by increasing the usually small amounts of ground almonds and rice flour to completely replace the wheat flour. And I took inspiration from her use of whipping cream to ‘wet’ and bind the dry ingredients, instead of just using water. What an amazing difference—that creamy, fresh flavour I had always loved is right there in the first taste.

See below for recipe.

Gluten free almond, rice four and butter shortbread baked in an unglazed stoneware tray. Diameter 10”, 0.75” deep.
The trays make great pizza too. Christine Pedersen 2015.

Prepare a baking tray:
8 x 12 half baking tray works well, line with baking parchment
Or large pyrex pie plate or tray, grease well with butter.

Heat oven to 375C.

Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
2 cups finely chopped almonds
2 cups rice flour (brown or white, or a mix).
½ tsp salt

Blend in a food processor:
¾ cup butter
¾ cup granulated sugar

Add liquid and blend again very briefly:
4-5 tbsp water, or even better—use whipping cream (thanks mum)

2 tbsp extra sugar to sprinkle on top

Optional: add a 1/4 cup coarse chopped walnuts into the final mix. Substitute maple sugar instead of granulated sugar.

Add the butter/sugar/cream mixture to the almonds/rice flour/salt in the bowl and rub in quickly with fingers until everything is just combined, touching as little as possible.

Press into tray, sprinkle top with extra sugar. Bake at 375C for 20 minutes.

Make cuts into the shortbread while still hot, allow to cool and then cut again. Cool completely (or even chill) before lifting shortbread pieces from mould.

I find it best to store the cooked shortbread in the fridge and just bring a few pieces out to warm up before eating, keeps it really fresh-tasting.

Eat some shortbread as soon as it is cold, a bit more later to check on how the crumb is setting, and maybe try to put some in the freezer for next week ;)

Technical notes:
This recipe was developed at 3300 ft, in a very dry atmosphere - I use up to 5 tbsp liquid to get the right degree of ‘wetting’. You may need less moisture elsewhere.

My ‘gold standard’ test for a good GF recipe is that people can really just enjoy the food, whether they need to eat GF or not, the GF recipe becomes as valid as any other food choice. For me, this is a recipe that achieves that goal: I have changed a treasured recipe out of need and re-gained the rich satisfying shortbread that I really, really love. Hope you enjoy it too.


Popular posts from this blog

my brand: I am a nerd

His & Hers Nerd Pendants. Sterling silver. 2011. There is no point in denying it: I am a nerd. I designed these pendants for the "Branded" exhibition at the fabulous Influx Gallery in Calgary this summer. I like to bring my background in science and natural history into my art work, and in this case, I also brought some political advocacy. In an era in which some cultures still deny females equal access to education, I used the loaded motif of the apple to create a context to present the writing to the viewer. Here's the full artist statement: His and her “ nerd ” pendants confidently declare affiliation with a tribe that delights in knowledge, education and technology. Nerdism nourishes the world around us, and we are proud of that contribution. His “ nerd ” pendant is about strength in identity. Styled after a traditional branding iron, the pendant is a rugged and substantial piece of silver, designed to perpetuate this important meme beyond one life

obsessing in public

obsessive chasing desire: the process in which the metal artist yields to their need to strike one piece of metal with carefully shaped tools for a very, very , long time. I will be doing a chasing metalwork demonstration at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Alberta, on Saturday December 5, 2015. I will have loads of samples - flat chased pictures, works in progress - and a very special holly sprig that I have been working on for over 90 hours… Look forward to seeing you there. “Run”. Brass portrait study. Chasing and repoussé. 14.5 x 9 x 3 cms. Christine Pedersen. 2014. ‘ Chasing ’ is the use of tools to create lines or texture marks on the surface of metal, it can be just like drawing. But the artwork can also be made into a three dimensional form by hitting and stretching the metal surface from behind—‘ repoussé ’—to sculpt relief, or volume, into the metal surface. The Statue of Liberty is probably the most famous repousséd object in the world - it’s also an awful l

hello you...

I always keep a piece from a new body of work: I need to spend time getting to know it.  #15 “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow: Orange and Red Slurpee” pinched porcelain vase form. Height: 8 inches. Christine Pedersen. 2015. And so #15 stayed with us, and I schemed up a delightful challenge for myself: in the name of art—and pictures for my blog—I would fill it with flowers for every opportunity I could make up for a whole year. Sweet. First up: a lovely (and very modestly priced) bouquet from the supermarket for Christmas 2015.  #15 “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow: Orange and Red Slurpee” pinched porcelain vase form. Seasonal flowers. Christine Pedersen. 2015. I always approach a vase thinking about the overall shape, as something to contemplate in my home, because most of the time it will probably stand empty. But as I make the piece, I end up imagining flowers and how they will fill it: how the stalks reach down to the bottom and push off at an angle; how wide a base nee