When you think of Christmas, what foods come to mind first? Tins of gluten free shortbread is one thing I really miss. Rich, buttery, crumbly shortbread which just melts in your mouth, packaged in festive tins, are some of my childhood, pre-coeliac memories of Christmas. Which is what inspired me to create these festive gluten free shortbread recipe with white chocolate, cranberry and pistachio.
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The best thing about these gluten free shortbread biscuits is the fact you can either enjoy a whole tray to yourself, or you can package them up and give them as a gift. I dipped half of mine in white chocolate and the other half I drizzled with chocolate instead. Both look equally as beautiful, and if you’re giving them as a gift it’s a nice idea to do a bit of both so you have a variety!
A great edible Christmas gift idea
For me, I’m coming to realise more and more that Christmas is way more about personal touches and experiences over ‘stuff’. I’d much rather give or receive a tin of home-baked gluten free shortbread than get another pair of socks. Although don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love getting socks for Christmas as my friends always pick me the funniest ones!
If you’re looking to save money at Christmas, have a more sustainable festive season, or just want to bake up some treats for friends and family, these gluten free shortbread are a great idea. For a little time spent in the kitchen you’ll have a DIY Christmas gift everyone will love. Plus any coeliac friend or family member is guaranteed to be overjoyed at receiving a tin of beautiful biscuits they can eat!
Tips for making my gluten free shortbread
I won’t lie, developing this recipe was a bit of a challenge! I love shortbread but have always found making gluten free biscuits notoriously hard to make. I trialled a few other recipes I found online before I worked on my own and they were all a disaster – they either burnt, spread, or just generally imploded. So it was back to the drawing board!
In the end I adapted the base of my gluten free millionaire’s shortbread until I found the right consistency of dough which could be rolled and cut (and re-rolled). I needed a shortbread which wasn’t going to spread, and one which would go a little golden in colour. I finally nailed it, on my sixth attempt!
Some tips for making this gluten free shortbread recipe are:
- Dairy free or vegan? I’ve not tried this as a diary free recipe before. You could easily substitute the chocolate chunks for a dairy free variety, and the recipe doesn’t contain any egg. I’d recommend the Stork Baking Block for a dairy free/vegan alternative, but have not tried this yet myself. It works well in my vegan millionaire’s shortbread recipe though, so I’m hopefully it’d work in this!
- Chill your shortbread – As you mix the dough, the butter will become very soft which is great news for cutting out your shapes. However, you want to make sure you chill the cut shapes for at least 30 minutes to avoid them spreading in the oven. This is a really important step, so don’t skip it!
- Adjust cooking times – I used a 7cm fluted round cutter to make my biscuits, but if you use a smaller or bigger size then the cooking times may vary. The shortbread won’t be harmed if you open the oven mid-bake, so just keep checking them if you’re unsure.
My gluten free shortbread recipe
Whether you’re making my festive gluten free shortbread recipe for family and friends or all to yourself, it’s really very simple. Let me know if you give them a go!
Festive gluten free shortbread
My festive gluten free shortbread are packed with white chocolate chunks, pistachio and cranberries. Perfect as an edible gift or Christmas treat.
- 200 g unsalted butter (softened)
- 50 g light brown sugar
- 50 g caster sugar
- 350 g plain gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 40 g dried cranberries
- 50 g white chocolate chunks
- 40 g crushed (shelled) pistachios
- 150 g white chocolate
- 40 g crushed (shelled) pistachios
Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside while you make the dough.
Add the butter and sugars to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 1-2 minutes until pale. Sift in the flour and xanthan gum and, using a wooden spoon, start to bring the mixture together into a dough. It may look quite dry and crumbly at first but it will start to come together - be patient.
Once the mixture begins to look more dough-like, add the cranberries, chocolate chunks and pistachio pieces. Use your hands to bring the mixture together into a smooth ball of dough, with the pieces evenly distributed.
Roll the dough out to around 1cm thick and cut out 20 cookies, placing them on the baking sheets with 1-2cm between them. You may need to re-roll the dough a couple of times. Place the baking trays with cookies on them in the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180'C/ Gas 6 / 160'C Fan. Once chilled, bake the shortbread biscuits for 25-30 minutes until slightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking trays for 15-20 minutes until they harden, before removing onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To decorate, break the white chocolate into pieces into a bowl over hot water and melt. Once melted, dip half of the shortbread biscuits into the chocolate, lay on a sheet of baking paper and sprinkle with pistachio pieces. Alternatively, you could drizzle the chocolate on top, or do half-and-half. Chill in the fridge until set.
These shortbread will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container - if you're giving them as a gift I'd recommend making them the day before so they're as fresh as possible.
Need some more gluten free Christmas inspiration?
Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free dessert recipes on the blog? Give some of these other gluten free recipes a try! There are plenty to choose from – here are a couple to get you going:
- My sparkly gluten free prosecco cupcakes
- Gluten free chocolate yule log recipe
- Gluten free toffee and pecan meringue roulade recipe
- Check out my Gluten Free Christmas ebook for tonnes more recipes and tips!
If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next! Oh – and don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter where you’ll know about all my latest posts and competitions first!
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