Shortbread so reminds me of Christmas! Now I know this isn’t just a Christmas treat but my Mum always baked Shortbread for Christmas, using my Nannie Mar’s recipe. Shortbread for me is so nostagicially Christmas.
Now I haven’t actually eaten Shortbread for the longest time due to the amount of sugar + gluten in it. It just leaves me feeling less than great – bloated, fatigued – so I’ve given it a miss. Not this year. I’ve had a play around + come up with a version that allows me to enjoy the memories without the less than great feeling after eating the more traditionally cooked Shortbread.
Traditionally Shortbread is made by using one part white sugar, two parts butter + three parts plain wheat flour, with some recipes using rice flour to give it a crunchier texture.
Now one of my absolute favourite things to do is to take a recipe + remake it so that everyone can enjoy it – no matter what their current dietary requirements are.
This recipe does just that. The base recipe is gluten + refined sugar free. It can however be modifed to also be lactose or diary free. Yes I’ve put lactose + dairy free as separate intolerance’s/allergies as they are in fact different. You will find these substitutes below the recipe.
One thing I love about baking food like this is getting to use my hands. There is something incredibly magic about using your hands to prepare food. The connection it brings is something we have lost with the way we cook food today. I speak a lot about grounding to help control our energy. Kneading dough like this is one such way you can ground your energy. It’s also lovely to infuse a little love into your food as you are kneading it – I promise you those that are eating it will notice!
You will notice that this Shortbread is actually darker + richer in colour than a traditonal Shortbread. This is partly due to the use of coconut sugar in place of caster sugar. Don’t worry for those that don’t like coconut, coconut sugar tastes nothing like coconuts.
Unlike regular caster sugar which contains no nutrients, coconut sugar retains many of the nutrients from the coconut palm. These include minerals iron, zinc, calcium + potassium, along with some short-chain fatty acids like polyphenols and antioxidants. These aren’t in huge amounts given the amount of coconut sugar you would consume, but it is better than the lack of nutrients found in regular sugar.
It also contains a fiber called inulin, which has been shown to slow glucose absorption. This explains why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar.
This is not to say we should be having huge helpings. This is still a sugar + keeping our consumption mindful is advisable.
This shortbread is incredibly easy to make without loosing the buttery richness of the classic. The coconut sugar does give it a caramely, toasted sugary flavour. Shortbread really is a classic Christmas recipe – my Nannie Mar would be so proud that you are all enjoying a version of her recipe!
What Do I Need?
- 140g of Buckwheat Flour
- 85g of Tapioca Flour
- 60g of Rice Flour
- 170g of Butter (soft) *
- 115g of Coconut Sugar
- Optional: 2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup, if you want it a little sweeter
Let’s Do This!
1. Preheat the oven to 180c. I also think that Christmas songs should be played whilst baking these so pop on your favourites!
2. Beat the butter + the sugar together.
3. Add the flours + mix together. I start this with a fork, then as it starts to come together, get your hands in there + knead until a smooth form dough forms. Now it’s imperative that you taste some of the mixture here – I mean it’s not baking unless you eat some of the dough raw…!
4. Press into a small baking tray (15cm x 10cm). Use the back of a spoon to smooth out. Alternatively you could roll it out on a floured board + cut into shapes. If you have used the maple syrup, you may find this a little sticky to roll out – use baking paper to help here.
5. Used a butter knife to cut the shortbread into fingers. Then with a fork lightly put 2 rows of fork marks into each finger (see above)
6. Bake for 15-20mins until golden.
7. When you remove them from the oven, use the butter knife to again cut the fingers. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Then gently lift out of the tray + cool on a wire rack.
Grab a cuppa (or a sherry…) and soak up the Christmas spirit!
This makes approx 16 fingers of shortbread
This recipe is gluten + refined sugar free and can be made lactose + dairy free.
* Dairy free alternative – Olive oil spread or any good quality vegan spread. Please don’t use spreads with vegetable oil, canola oil or rapseed oil as these are oxidative to the body.
* Lactose free alternative – Goats milk butter