Luisa Weiss’s Classic German Baking is still giving me wonderful baking ideas – today’s recipe is a crispy shortbread-style biscuit. Cardamom is far less prevalent in German baking than Scandinavian, except for the northernmost parts; I’ve added my own twists and made it GF.
The dough should be made in advance and stored in the fridge until ready for baking.
Makes: around 30 biscuits depending on size
- 90g unsalted butter – can be cold as it will be melted
- 70g caster sugar, white or golden
- 1 tsp ground cardamom (approx 15 whole green pods, seeds removed and heartily crushed)
- Scant 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1 medium egg (45-50g when weighed in the shell), beaten
- 210g gluten-free plain flour
- Scant 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- Whole milk, for glazing
- Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- 1 small saucepan (a milkpan will do)
- A mortar & pestle (if grinding whole cardamom pods)
- 1 large mixing bowl; and 3 small bowls for egg, flour, and milk
- An electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
- 2 baking trays
- Baking/parchment paper to line both trays
- A sharp knife and chopping board
- A pastry brush
- A cooling rack
- Melt the butter in a small pot over a medium-high heat, until it turns medium brown and starts to smell ‘nutty’. Don’t let it burn! Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Whisk the melted butter with the sugar, spices, and egg in a large bowl on medium speed until creamy.
- Mix the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl with a fork. Beat into the butter mixture some at a time at medium speed until fully combined. Scrape down the bowl frequently.
- Set out 1 large piece of clingfilm on a worktop. Mold the dough with your hands into a log, about 10″ long (it will be very soft). Make the log shorter for wider-diameter biscuits; longer for smaller ones.
- Roll the log tightly in the clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight; anywhere up to 24 hours). After 30 minutes, roll the wrapped log on the fridge shelf so it stays round, and doesn’t flatten on the bottom.
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted) and line both baking trays with paper.
- Remove the dough log from the fridge, unwrap, and cut into 24 slices 1/4 – 1/3″ thick. Place the rounds on the lined baking trays 3x4; re-wrap any remaining dough and put back into fridge. Lightly brush each slice with milk.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown, turning the trays halfway through for even baking. Remove biscuits to a cooling rack. Let the trays cool 10 minutes before loading with remaining sliced dough, and baking.
- Once fully cooled, dust with icing sugar if you like. These will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 weeks.
For more traditional shortbread biscuits, try my GF Sablé Biscuits recipe where I have oodles of suggestions for flavour combinations and colours.
If you like nuts in traditional shortbread, try my GF Walnut & Cardamom Shortbread biscuits.
If you want chocolate shortbread cookies, try this other GF recipe of mine.