JUNE 4, 2012


Traditional shortbread should really be called “several sticks of butter – cookies”. The butter could very well be what makes them so additively mouth watering. Shortbread is not something that could linger around my house. If it does, I end up consuming 98% of it. With the weather shifting into summer and tank top season upon us, eating a large batch of shortbread would most likely keep me in turtlenecks and long sleeve t’s rather than a cute maxi or simple sun dress.

I have been  wanting to recreate this favorite, household cookie, yet in a gluten free version. Playing with ingredients has become my new hobby (or obsession) and when something hits and comes out right, the kitchen dance begins! The neighbors up the street can hear me singing with joy as the kids wait patiently by the oven door. I found, rolling out the dough and letting it rest in the fridge before shaping helped the cookies not spread when baked. In addition, cut dough can be flash frozen and saved for another day.

Making shortbread was a high priority. It’s, yet another one of those freezer friendly doughs, and when baked not only does the house smell divine, but the rich, buttery biscuit easily melts in ones mouth. Using ingredients on hand; macadamia nuts, limes, and coconut, a successful cookie was born. This basic dough could easily find a home with lemon, almonds, bittersweet chocolate, dried fruit, and a host of other pantry staples. I am going to experiment. You can too! Then come back here and tell me what you come up with!

Coconut Macadamia Lime Shortbread Cookies – Gluten Free
yield: 42 3″ cookies

3 ounces | 86 grams | 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted
6 ounces | 170 grams | 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons organic, cane sugar
2 ounces | 56 grams | 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
8 1/2 ounces | 248 grams | 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 3/4 ounces | 280 grams | 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour mixture (I use my own blend)
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

• place a jelly roll pan, 11.5″ x 17.5″ in the freezer until ready to use.
• chop macadamia nuts. place on a small baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden. let cool.
• using a micro-plane, zest limes (about 2-3, depending upon their size).
• in the work bowl of a mini Cuisinart, pulse the toasted nuts and 2 tablespoons of sugar until very finely ground. set aside.
• in the same workbowl, pulse 1 cup (2 ounces | 56 grams) of the coconut, until it resembles coarse salt. set aside.
• place butter and remaining sugar in the bowl of your standing mixer. using the paddle attachment, cream the ingredients until well combined.
• mix in the coconut and vanilla extract.
• with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, xanthum gum, guar gum, and celtic sea salt. mix just to combine. do not over mix.
• remove the work bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, add the ground nuts, coconut, and lime zest until all is incorporated.
• place dough on a piece of plastic wrap and bring it together without over working the dough. wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour or up to 24 hours (if not using right away, dough can be frozen for up to one month).
• cut dough in half. wrap up one half of the dough and place in fridge while you work with the other half of the dough.
• on a lightly floured work surface (I use a marble slab), roll your dough to 1/4″ thick (I also flour my rolling pin). This dough gets warm rapidly, so you want to work quickly. place slab of dough on a piece of parchment paper and place on the frozen cookie sheet. place the cookie sheet in the fridge while you repeat this process with all of the remaining dough.
• loosly cover your slabs of dough with plastic wrap and place back in the freezer for 20 minutes.
• preheat oven to 325*
• working with one slab at a time, cut your dough into desired shapes. set shapes on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.  place back in the fridge while you cut the rest of your dough. repeat until all of your dough and scraps have been utilized.
• brush the tops of each cookie with egg wash. sprinkle with remaining coconut.
• bake 15 – 20 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom, and back to front, mid way between baking.
• let cool completely before removing from the parchment paper.
• store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days (if they last that long).
* note: juice limes and place juice in ice cube trays. once frozen store in baggies or a freezer safe container for future use.