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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Recipe: Healthier Shortbread Cookies

Healthier Shortbread Cookies Recipe for Christmas - low fat, low sugar, gluten free, healthier, healthy christmas recipes

When I decided I wanted to create a healthier shortbread recipe, I knew I was up for a major challenge. You see, whilst my Mum isn't the greatest sweet fan - one thing she can never pass up is shortbread. 

I cannot remember a single Christmas where my Mum hasn't bought at least three packets of buttery Walkers Shortbread. That's her shortbread of choice - but as I got older, I wanted to make my own. That was a challenge with the shortbread queen around as they had to be jussssssssssssssst right. 

I'd managed to successfully create my own buttery shortbread recipe that got the huge tick of approval from Mum about five or so years ago - but this year, I was on a mission... 

I wanted to create a healthy shortbread cookies recipe that Mum would love - yet one that was still gluten free, lower sugar and lower fat - and I did exactly that!

You really cannot tell that these shortbread cookies are healthier in the slightest. They're buttery and melt in your mouth the way that all good shortbread should - with crisp, crunchy edges and softer middles and the ability to hold their cute Christmas (or any) shapes whilst baking. 

This healthier shortbread recipe is so good, in fact, the entire SIL family decided these were the best shortbread cookies I've ever made (and I have made batch after batch, year after year!) - and they didn't have a clue they were healthier. 

Healthier Shortbread Cookies Recipe for Christmas - low fat, low sugar, gluten free, healthier, healthy christmas recipes

When they saw me take a shortbread cookie and devour it in front of them they realised they were gluten free (but they couldn't tell from eating them!) and then I let them know they were lower in fat and sugar and they were flabbergasted

These are the type of cookies that our friends and family eat and then have this kind of reaction to; "Oh Kristy, you have a healthy living blog and make all these healthy treats but you share these cookies that are so good I'll be wearing them on my thighs for months!" - but then I let them in on the secret; they're healthier too! 

You can cut these cookies into any shape or size, freeze the dough or cut out cookies on baking paper to make later, place in jars for gifting or keep them all for yourself. They're so easy to make and so delicious that I can guarantee you will be making batch after batch, year after year. 

We've already made three batches and Christmas isn't even here yet! ;) 

So let me give you the recipe! >> 

Healthier Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies Recipe for Christmas - low fat, low sugar, gluten free, healthier, healthy christmas recipes

Healthier Shortbread Cookies
makes 25 medium cookies (pictured) or 5 dozen smaller 1" cookies
lower fat, lower sugar, gluten free, freezer friendly

7 tbsp (100g) butter1/2 cup (60g) icing/confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 tbsp (40g) applesauce 
2 tsp vanilla extract
3x (50g) egg yolks 
1 1/2 cups (180g) gluten free plain flour 
1/4 cup (35g) sorghum flour*
  • Preheat your oven to 180C/355F
  • Cream your butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides occasionally to ensure everything is incorporated.
  • Add in your applesauce, vanilla and egg yolks, mixing throughout your butter mixture (it may look a little curdled but don't worry!).
  • Add in your flour, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  • Form your dough into a flat disc shape, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about half an hour or until firm.
  • Meanwhile, get out your baking sheets and line them with baking paper ready for your cut out cookies.
  • Once chilled, roll your dough out between two pieces of baking paper until it's about 1/3-1/2 an inch in thickness.
  • Cut out your cookies, re-rolling the dough as needed and placing the cut cookies onto your baking sheets.
  • Bake your cookies for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges. Leave to cool completely before placing in an airtight container to store.
  • The cookies will keep for about a week (if they last that long!) at room temperature in an airtight container. You may also freeze the dough after cutting out your cookies, ready to defrost and bake when desired!

*Sorghum flour is highly recommended for the best texture and results, however, if you don't have sorghum flour and can't get any in time you may replace it with another 1/4 cup plain flour or 1/8 cup cornflour + 1/8 cup plain flour

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