Very Vanilla Earl Grey Gluten-Free Shortbread & Chocolate Chunk Shortbread (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Nut-Free)

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Very Vanilla Earl Grey Shortbread

Rather than being “plain”, real vanilla is its own sophisticated flavour which is best appreciated on its own or lightly paired with a suitable flavour to bring it out!

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup natural or artificial sweetener (I used coconut sugar, sorbitol, and the two mixed with regular sugar all with good results)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid vanilla extract or flavouring
  • dash salt
  • liberal dash of dry Earl Grey tea leaves
  • (a touch of orange flavouring would go quite nicely in these as well)

(Note: Homemade vanilla ice cream with Earl Grey tea leaves is also delicious!) 

Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

Chocolate masks the subtleness of the vanilla…but is its own rich, deep flavour. You will not be disappointed by this!

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup natural or artificial sweetener (I used coconut sugar, sorbitol, and the two mixed with regular sugar all with good results)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
  • dash salt
  • 30 g chopped sugar-free (or regular) dark chocolate

One of the few coconut flour desserts which does not require eggs!

1. Melt butter and cool. Add olive oil if using.
2. Stir in sweetener until fully blended. You may need to add a small amount of water if the sweetener is not water soluble, or you could use a hand blender.
3. Add the vanilla flavourings and salt. Stir.
4. Stir in coconut flour until fully blended. It will take some time for the dough to come together; it will be crumbly. If necessary, add a little water.
5. Stir in the Earl Grey tea leaves or chocolate chunks.
6. Work the dough slightly in your hands to help it stick together before patting it down and cutting into desired shape (a small glass works well for round shortbread).
7. Bake for 7 minutes in pre-heated 350 degree (180 degree C) oven. Do not overbake!
8. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour. (This helps them set.)

These can be crumbly. Adding water will help them stay together, but the more water that is added, the less of a shortbread consistency they will have. Add as little water as possible!

Small sizes are recommended since, unlike regular shortbread, they are very filling. I had best results making 16 small round cookies.

Recipe adapted from Empowered Sustenance (http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-shortbread-cookies-coconut-flour/).

Looking for a traditional option? Try Maida Heatter’s famous chocolate shortbread recipe at http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2011/09/maida-heatters-chocolate-shortbread-cookies.html.

(Maida Heatter is, in my view, the undisputed chocolate expert of our time. When I was a child, I had the great fortune to chance upon an old and tattered baking book of hers at a second-hand shop, with not only outstanding recipes but also great baking tips!)

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