Gluten-free shortbread

GF shortbread

I’ve been trying to avoid gluten these past few months. I’d heard it can interfere with thyroid function and as I have this beastly little thyroid that has been playing tricks on my metabolism, sleeping habits and general well being for the past six years I thought I’d give it a go.  I’m not sure what I did to piss my thyroid off but it’s may as well have upped and left for all the good it’s doing. Thus far it hasn’t seem to make a difference how much goodness I put into my body my paltry little thyroid gland  sits all high and mighty refusing to work on its own. Well, of course he’s quite happy for me to shell out at the drug store month after month to keep him ticking over but I’m trying to kick his little habit. I’ve called him Fred, because clearly his lack of pro-activeness warrants him male status. I thought perhaps if I starved useless Fred of gluten that he just may start behaving himself again. It’s worked on Don, why not on a lazy thyroid gland?

GF shortbreadOkay, so I’ve never attempted to starve my husband but whilst I’ve been working in West Virginia these past few months he has lost quite a few pounds. Point proven.

Anyway, starving Fred of gluten hasn’t had the desired response I was after. Clearly I need to give him a much more severe beating, the softly softly approach is not going to win him over.

GF shortbread

But whilst gluten-free living hasn’t given my proper thyroid functioning it has opened me up to a whole new world of grains and flours. Quinoa flour, chickpea flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour (!) who knew! All of which, I might add have enjoyed a pleasantly smooth trip through my digestive system without the usual halt in proceedings for a midnight bloating party.
I’ve also been surprisingly pleased with how easy it is to bake without gluten- sure the flavour and the texture is different- but isn’t that what we foodies are always after, something different? I’m sold. This is the kind of shortbread I want to stick a slab of cheddar on and call lunch. But lets be honest, Fred would take that chunk of cheese and find a nice little place for it to nestle down for eternity in my backside. Cheers, Fred- you useless old git.

GF shortbread
Gluten Free shortbread

If you don’t have this variety of flours you can use 250g of all purpose gluten free flour and if you’re not gluten free then you can use 175g plain flour and 75g cornmeal.

Makes 12 squares
Diet Facts: gluten free does not mean fat free!

175g/ 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
75g/ 1/3 cup sugar
85g/ 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp quinoa flour
85g/ 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown rice flour
85g/ 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/ Heat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4. Beat your butter in the bowl of a kitchen aid with the paddle attachment or by hand until very soft and smooth. Beat in the sugar until just combined.

2/ In a separate bowl whisk together the flours and salt and then add to the butter mixture, mixing on a very low speed. Once it comes together into a ball remove from the bowl and press into a 23cm x 23 (9 inch x 9 inch) cake tin. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden. Leave to cool before cutting.

4 Responses to “Gluten-free shortbread”


  1. 1 Don October 25, 2009 at 9:46 am

    “lack of proactiveness warrants male status”?! I feel affronted for my entire gender!
    To be fair, that’s not far off the money. And I have lost weight since you’ve been away. My cooking just isn’t as appealing :(

  2. 2 Iris October 27, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Those look delicious! Since spending a semester in Scotland, I’ve been searching for the perfect shortbread recipe. And since going gluten-free, it’s now even more of a challenge. I’ll give these a try!

  3. 3 Jill December 29, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Yes! I’ve been wondering why I haven’t seen a gluten free shortbread recipe before! I can’t wait to try this out!

  4. 4 Kristen March 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Hey, girl, I think your style of writing is just adorable. I have been trying to be gluten free for my thyroid as well!! It has not been going well because we went to Disney World last week, and what do you do there besides have a magical time? EAT! Well, I had some of those lovely Walker’s shortbread cookies with Mickey Mouse’s mug baked on the front, and I decided I’d explore for a gluten free recipe. Didn’t think it would be all that hard since traditional shortbread only has three or four ingredients.

    Anyway, I did want to share with you what actually did help me with my thyroid: it was the anti-fungal diet. You can’t live on it forever though. You do antifungal for at least 3-4 weeks, and then you basically eliminate foods which have large fungus/mold contents, such as corn and peanut products, forever, and stay off sugar or minimuze sugar because sugar is what the fungus feed on. Here is some info if you would like to see it. The AF diet is beneficial to anyone with an autoimmune disease, not just thyroid problems. you posted this a while ago, so many you don’t even ned this info anymore. good luck, Kristen http://knowthecause.com/Fungus101/tabid/58/Default.aspx


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