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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chocolate Scottish Shortbread Cookies
I absolutely love Scottish shortbread! It's buttery, very lightly sweetened, and tenderly-crisp. I 've formed them into triangles, medium sized galettes as shown, 1" round buttons sandwiched with a fabulous frosting, the base for all of my Streusel Bars, plus the buttery-moist and sandy topping for bars, and added all kinds of things to the batter itself. I even made them into cutout "spoons"
for my nieces wedding shower, to spoon out chocolate mousse, of course-they were adorable!

If I had to choose though from a cookie that is loaded with oodles of sweet, nutty, sticky goodies and plain ol' Scottish Shortbread? You guessed right! Just plain ol' Scottish Shortbread. It just hits the spot every single time. Some people like milk, coffee or tea with their cookies. I like plain ol' unsweetened iced tea.

I guess the plain ol' part for me is that you can enjoy such a simple delicacy so easy, and wow, but they just go with every menu possible. What ethnic group wouldn't like it? I can't think of one. I've shared this lovely tidbit with a lot of neighbors, and friends and they are all from wonderful diverse groups.

Let's make some! Ready?

Gluten Free Chocolate Scottish Shortbread Cookies
You will need a 9" x 13"/22.86 x 33.02 cm baking sheet, 
Non-stick cooking spray,
Parchment paper

You will need to use Jeanne's flour mix, keep it in an airtight container:
    1 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour
    1 1/2 cups White Rice Flour
    1 cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
    1 cup Sweet Rice Flour
    2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

1 1/2 cups - unsalted butter, room temp but still cool, you don't want it "melty"
1 3/4 cups - granulated sugar (seems like a lot but we're adding unsweetened cocoa)
3/4 cup -unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled to room temp
1 Tablespoon milk, any kind is fine - you may need a bit more depending on how dry your ingredients are, add 1 teaspoon at a time mixing thoroughly.

3/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling the dough balls in
3/4 cup powdered sugar for rolling the dough balls in

1. Pre-heat oven to 325˚F/162.8˚C,  spray non-stick cooking spray lightly onto your cookie/baking sheet, and line with parchment paper. 

2. Set a heat proof bowl over a sauce pan or use a double boiler, with about 1/4 inch of water in the saucepan and simmer over low heat. Melt the chocolate in the heatproof bowl until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool to room temperature, as adding it warm to the butter and sugar will melt the butter and will affect the quality of your shortbread.

3. Into a large separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. In the mixer bowl beat the butter and sugar together. 

4. When the chocolate is cooled add it to the butter mix, beating well to combine. Add the dry ingredient cocoa mix about 1/4 cup at a time and mixing well with each addition. When all of the dry ingredients are added, beat in the one Tablespoon of milk. If your cookie dough is too dry, and doesn't have a relatively smooth texture you can add a bit more milk using one teaspoon at a time. You only want a fairly smooth texture, scoop-able let's say. Shortbread is a hearty dough, so that's why we add such small amounts, just a little will do.
5. Place the extra two sugars in separate low-hieght baking dishes. Using a 1 1/2 inch diameter cookie scoop,  scoop the dough into balls directly into the dish of extra granulated sugar, about 6 balls at a time. Roll each one around to coat it well and then transfer each into the dish with the confectioner's sugar, and roll and coat it very well. Place scoops about 2 inches apart on your prepared cookie/baking sheet. Coating the balls in granulated sugar first, and then in the powdered sugar last helps the cookies retain the powdered sugar coating during cooking.
Using the bottom of a glass, dip it in powdered sugar and gently press the dough balls down to about 1/4 inch high. Slightly twist the glass to remove it from the dough.

Or, you can roll the dough out and use scalloped biscuit cutters to cut them out. Roll the dough out between waxed paper or plastic wrap, and place on cookie/baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

6. Bake the cookies about 8-10 minutes, you're not looking to "brown" them. Let them cool 8-10 minutes on the parchment lined sheet then remove to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.

7. To make ice cream sandwiches: Use the same 1 1/2 inch diameter size cookie scoop and place one scoop on the bottom of a cookie, place the top cookie top side up and press down gently. You can leave them plain or roll the ice cream edges in nuts or sprinkles. Wrap each one separately in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 1/2 an hour.