I craved something sugary but not cane sugar sweet. I had an idea, maybe something with a little more depth – a sweet treat with coconut sugar. Already my mind was swirling and I began tampering about in my kitchen experimenting. I thought to myself, “Well, if I was to use coconut sugar I might as well make it gluten free AND add ghee as its base.” A few days later I came up with this recipe. This revelation happened months ago and I have since, made it umpteen times and it’s practically begged to be showed off.
For my dear friends following my blog, you may remember a recipe from sometime back, the Naan Kathai post. Anyway, I used this recipe as my starting point and flipped out the all-purpose flour for quinoa flour at first, that didn’t work. Next, I incorporated coconut flour into the recipe and it proved to be unworthy too – it was too dry. Eventually I dumped in some almond meal and that seemed to do the trick. Next, I tossed out the cornflour and replaced it with brown rice flour and I achieved the perfect texture. Ever since… there’s no stopping me! I have baked trays and trays of these cookies … This recipe is a keeper, for me at least, and I’m sure it will be for you too…
Before I go on with the recipe, let me tell you – although I used the Naan Kathai recipe as a base to start, these two cookies are by no means the same texture and taste. Nope they are not. I simply used the recipe as a starter and worked my way about it. The Naan Kathai is light and crisp, whereas these shortbread cookies are a little dense, slightly chewy from the coconut sugar and have a bit of a crumble. It has become a staple, chocolate chips and all, in my home and sshhhh! don’t tell anyone its gluten free…
In a bowl combine the following ingredients
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup chickpea (besan flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder* or 1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon almond Essence (optional)
Rub in 1/2 cup solid ghee
1/4 cup choc chips (optional)
The mixture maybe a little crumbly like damp beach sand and that’s okay.
Roll the dough into pingpong sized balls between the palm of your hand. The heat from your palms will melt the ghee. Therefore keeping the dough intact.
Place the balls onto an ungreased baking tray and flatten into thin disks. Reshaping into rounds, if necessary.
Bake for about 7 – 8 mins. They will brown ever so lightly on the edges. Be careful not to let the shortbread brown.
Leave to cool completely, if u can resist. I will warn you though, when still hot they will fall apart making it more delicious to shove the warm crumbs into your mouth.
Once you’ve inhaled several chocolate chip shortbread cookies with your cuppa chaa (tea), you can store any leftovers in an airtight container between layers of parchment.
If you plan to make these cookies in the summer when the ghee somewhat liquifies. I would suggest putting the shortbread cookie dough, covered, into the fridge for about 1/2 hour before rolling into balls.
I have tried the recipe using powdered sugar (icing sugar) instead of the coconut sugar and the shortbread cookies turn out just fine.
Coconut sugar can be found at any reputable grocery store.
Chickpea flour is readily available at any Indian store, labelled Besan flour, or from a natural food store too.
And lastly, if you really don’t feel up to making the ghee from scratch which is so easy once you’v tried it a couple of times, you can find it ready made and any natural food store.
* concerning the baking powder. If you are severely allergic to wheat I would use 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda instead of the Baking Powder.
For the love of ghee, I dare you to try making this no-fuss recipe this weekend and let me know how it fares!