This is Aly and Heather from The Gluten Free Lab. We want to thank Jenna for giving us the opportunity to guest post on Eat Live Run this morning—we are very excited to be here! So, without further ado, let us introduce the cracker that wanted to be a sandwich cookie.
Over here at The Gluten Free Lab we’re all about experimentation in the kitchen. Which also means we’re all about not getting too attached to results. Take this recipe for shortbread sandwich cookies, for example. They actually started out as crackers (see our original post here, wherein we rejoice at our creation of a gluten-free Ritz-like butter cracker), but those crackers very clearly needed just a touch more sugar and a slathering of rich dark chocolate so that they could realize their true potential: shortbread sandwich cookies. They’re flaky and crispy, buttery and rich, chocolatey, and just salty enough.
If you’re a GFer (that is, a gluten-free-er), you will hopefully have just read the above sentence with a small gleam of excitement, as “flaky” and “crisp” don’t typically describe your average gluten-free baked good. These cookies will change. your. paradigm, friends.
And if you don’t follow a gluten-free diet, you can easily substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour for the alternative flours called for in this recipe (Expandex®, brown rice flour and sweet rice flour). You may need to decrease the heavy cream by a tablespoon or so. But don’t worry; this dough is very forgiving.
Gluten-Free Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
Makes 24 cookies (12 sandwiches)
65 g Expandex® modified tapioca starch (~1/2 cup)*
80 g brown rice flour (~1/2 cup)
30 g sweet rice flour (~1/4 cup) + more for dusting
30 g sugar (~1/4 cup)
4 g coarse kosher salt (~1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 c + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream
6 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate, melted (we like Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate baking chunks)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and put a third sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Set aside.
Pulse flours, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add cold butter and pulse in 1-second intervals 8-10 times or until mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. With machine running, add vanilla then 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream through feed tube until mixture just comes together into a dough, adding more cream by the teaspoonful if mixture looks dry. Dough should form several clumps and should look smooth.
Sprinkle third sheet of parchment with sweet rice flour and turn dough out from the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle dough with a little more sweet rice flour and gather into a ball. Flatten slightly and roll out to an even 1/8-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. If dough sticks, sprinkle with the smallest amount of sweet rice flour possible to prevent sticking.
Using a floured cookie cutter (approx. 2 1/2-inches diameter; we used a cute flower shape), cut rounds out of rolled out dough and place onto parchment-lined cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Regather dough and repeat the rolling and cutting process until all the dough is used.
Place baking sheets in freezer for 15 minutes, then remove from freezer, and brush lightly with egg yolk mixture.
Place baking sheets in middle of oven and bake 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time, until deep golden brown in color. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spread melted chocolate over the bottom side of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week, but they will soften over time.
*Expandex® modified tapioca starch can be found in some retail stores and can be purchased online.