There are eleventy-two variations provided on my gluten-free Sablé shortbread recipe but still I wondered ‘what else?’ Nuts! Cardamom & walnut are oft-used together in Persian cooking, so I opted for that combo, with an icing drizzle.
The dough should be made in advance, and stored in the fridge or freezer until ready for baking.
Makes: 30+ biscuits depending on size/thickness
- 290g gluten-free flour
- 1 & 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder (only if your GF flour is plain, not self-raising)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (3-4 green pods, seeds removed and heartily crushed)
- 150g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 110g sugar (golden caster, ideally; but white caster will do)
- 1 large egg, beaten (62–70g when weighed in its shell)
- 1 small orange: 1/2 of finely grated zest, and juice
- 45g walnuts, very finely chopped
- 125g icing sugar (or less: see Garnish Option footnote)
- 2 baking trays
- Baking/parchment paper to line both trays, plus additional for rolling
- 3 mixing bowls: 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small
- An electric mixer (hand-held or stand) if not creaming butter/sugar by hand
- Mortar & pestle (if crushing whole cardamom pods)
- A nut/coffee grinder (if you don’t want to chop the nuts by hand)
- A sieve
- A cooling rack
- Line both baking trays with paper. Cut an additional piece of paper about 15″ square.
- Put the flour, baking powder (if using), and spices into a medium bowl, and mix with a fork. Get a sieve ready.
- Whisk the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium-low speed until creamy. Add the beaten egg and orange zest, and continue whisking until fluffy. Add the chopped nuts and fold manually until they’re evenly distributed.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir manually just until fully combined.
(Although this is gluten-free and therefore over-mixing shouldn’t be a problem, this is still traditional shortbread – so mix until it’s just fully come together into a dough.)
- Put the dough onto your paper square, and massage with your hands into a smooth log about 12″ long. Roll the paper tightly over the log to cover it, twist the ends like a Christmas cracker, then put the dough into the fridge to firm up for at least 1 hour. (This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months, in a sealed plastic bag.)
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted).
- Roll the dough log free from the paper, cut into 1/4″ slices, and place the discs on the lined baking trays 5 x 3. (When baked from chilled, they hardly spread.) If you have more discs than will fit, put the rest back into the fridge.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes (up to 15 minutes for thicker slices), until lightly browned and feeling firm. Remove the trays from the oven and leave for 5 minutes before removing the biscuits to a cooling rack. If you have remaining discs, let the trays cool for 5 more minutes before loading up again, and baking.
- Once the biscuits are fully cooled, mix the icing sugar with 1 & 1/2 tablespoons orange juice. Add water 1/2 tsp at a time until you have your preferred drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the biscuits to decorate.
You could use pecans instead of walnuts – if doing so, I’d delete the cardamom and add 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg instead. Also, add 1 tsp vanilla extract to the butter/sugar.
Alternatively, you could use any nuts you like – hazelnuts, almonds, etc. Alter the spicing to suit the nuts you use.
If you don’t want a drizzle, you can simply dust the tops of the cooled biscuits with a little icing sugar.
GF Chocolate Shortbread
If you want chocolate (and nut-free) shortbread biscuits, try this other recipe of mine.