This easy gluten-free shortbread recipe is made in a tart pan and is dipped in chocolate for an extra special treat. So delicious!
I’m definitely a soft and chewy cookie type of gal. The only exceptions are these Swedish pepparkakor (ginger cookies) and shortbread. I’d never made shortbread before I started working on this post because I always just assumed that a homemade version wouldn’t come close Walker’s, my favorite brand of shortbread.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started trying out shortbread recipes. I tried 7 different recipes which basically only called for flour, butter and sugar but they all came out so differently. What I learned was that if you want anything truly like Walker’s shortbread, you’re just going to have to buy it. And the type of sugar plays a huge role!
I tried some recipes with powdered sugar and that resulted in shortbread that melts in your mouth. It was okay but not what I was looking for. Then I made some recipes with brown sugar and I was in heaven.
Traditional shortbread doesn’t call for brown sugar (or vanilla, for that matter) but when something improves the flavor, I don’t really care about what’s traditional and what’s not. I bet you’ll agree with me after trying these buttery shortbread cookies, which have something of a caramelized flavor to them.
Something else I experienced is that rolling out cookie dough is far too fussy when you can just pat the dough into a tart pan, cut them into 8 pieces and call it a day. So much simpler and I think they look pretty neat that way when dipped (or more like slathered) in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts.
I made these cookies with all-purpose flour as well as this 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour. The gluten-free version was a little more sandy when you eat the cookies straight from the oven (which you shouldn’t do, anyway!) but after decorating, it was hard to tell a difference.
Throughout the entire shortbread testing period, my husband kept telling me that he doesn’t really like shortbread and so he only wanted a small bite from every batch. After I gave him his tiny trial of these chocolate dipped shortbread, he was yelling, “More! More! More!”
We enjoyed them so much that we decided to make them for our mailman, our elderly neighbor and for anyone else we feel like gifting with something ridiculously delicious. I can pretty much promise that nobody would be let down when they open up a tin of these shortbread!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (or other nuts)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla at medium speed until combined.
- Gradually beat in the flour at low speed until the flour is well incorporated. Do not over mix!
- Press the dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan and using a fork, poke holes about every 1".
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, place the chopped nuts on a baking sheet. When you remove the shortbread from the oven, toast the nuts for about 3-8 minutes or until they smell toasty (the time will depend on how finely the nuts are chopped).
- Remove the shortbread from the oven and use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread into 8 wedges. The shortbread will be quite fragile so let it cool completely in the pan.
- Carefully remove the cookies from the pan using a spatula.
- Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on a baking sheet that will fit in your refrigerator.
- Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat while stirring frequently.
- Spoon the chocolate over the top and sides of a piece of shortbread and use the spoon to even it out. Place the shortbread on the parchment paper and sprinkle with nuts. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden. You could alternatively let the cookies sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the chocolate has hardened.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you need this shortbread to be gluten-free, make sure all your ingredients are certified gluten-free.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1 wedge
Amount Per Serving Calories 372Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 35mgSodium 152mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 2gSugar 14gProtein 5g