Gluten-free Shortbread with Toasted Nuts

Gluten-free Shortbread with Toasted Nuts

The end of 2020 is drawing near, and while holiday festivities may look different this  year than they have in years past, I find myself leaning into some traditions with a  newfound earnestness. With the idea of hygge in mind, my husband and I have  developed an evening routine that is cozy, peaceful, and almost ritualistic for us, and it  has become a simple way to cultivate joy in our home despite the absence of holiday  parties that would typically keep us busy throughout December; we might even prefer  these quiet evenings at home in our slippers, sipping mulled wine to the ones spent  dressed to the nines and clinking glasses of champagne with fellow party-goers. We  now spend almost every evening sitting fireside with our dogs, enjoying dinner or  dessert with a warming drink, and watching a delightfully absurd holiday movie. As I  sit bundled in a comfy blanket, nibbling on a freshly baked cookie and listening to the  crackling fire, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for these evenings of simple pleasure,  and I am thankful that we are crafting new traditions from the unexpected  circumstances that came from this year. 

If you want to create your own traditions and moments of hygge at home, one of the  most simple ways to do so is to dust off your apron and bake. Few things are cozier  than the aroma and the taste of a freshly baked treat, and I have created a toasty, nutty  cookie that is incredibly simple, quick, and can be enjoyed plain or decorated. These  gluten-free shortbread cookies take roughly five minutes to mix by hand and are the  perfect addition to holiday dessert plates. Wrapped dough will keep fresh for up to two  weeks in the refrigerator, so it’s great to make in advance and have ready for whenever  you might need it. While I’ve included two options for filling and/or decorating, you can  use these as a blank canvas for your favorite frostings, jams, and glazes. A low stress  and high reward treat? Seems hyggeligt to me! 

Gluten-free Shortbread with Toasted Nuts  

yields 18-24 cookies  

by Logan Kimsey for Haand  

  • 6 Tbs Salted butter, at room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbs Confectioner’s sugar 
  • 3/4 cup Toasted hazelnuts or shelled pistachios, ground into fine pieces • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract  
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbs Gluten-free all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum (omit if included in flour blend
  • 1 egg and an additional 2 Tbs chopped nuts, optional
  1. In a small mixing bowl, use a spatula to cream together the butter and sugar until  smooth and evenly mixed 
  2. Add the finely ground nuts and vanilla extract, then mix to combine 3. Add the flour and xanthan gum (if using) and mix to form a loose, dry dough. Turn  the dough out onto your counter or workbench, and knead into a firm, cohesive  dough. Shape it into a log 1.5-2” in diameter, wrap tightly with parchment paper or  plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to two weeks 4. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375ºF (350ºF if using a convection  oven), line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and slice your log into cookie  rounds between 1/4-1/2” thick. If you want to add a little extra crunch to your  cookies, brush the sides with whisked egg and roll in chopped nuts prior to slicing 5. The cookies will spread about 1/2” all around, so space them accordingly on your  parchment-lined sheet. Bake for 6 minutes, rotate your pan 180º, and bake for an  additional 6 minutes 
  3. Let cool on a cooling rack, then enjoy plain or fill and/or decorate with melted  chocolate, ganache, royal icing, jam, or a glaze 

Dark Chocolate Ganache (perfect for making sandwich cookies or drizzling  across the tops of your cookies)  

  • 3.5 oz bar of Dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) 
  • 1/4 + 2 Tbs Heavy whipping cream 

In a microwave-safe glass bowl, heat the chocolate and cream, stopping every 15  seconds to stir. Once melted and smooth, use a fork or spoon to drizzle across the top  of your cookies or let cool, stirring occasionally to help it thicken evenly, and spoon  onto the bottom of one cookie before topping with a second cookie to make an utterly  indulgent sandwich 

Pomegranate Glaze (for pistachio cookies only)  

  • 1/2 cup Confectioner’s sugar 
  • 2 tsp Pomegranate juice 

Whisk together sugar and juice in a small bowl until smooth, then drizzle or spoon onto  pistachio cookies for a pop of flavor and color. For a fun contrast, top with a thin  drizzle of dark chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of crushed pistachios