Gluten-Free Chickpea Shortbread

I remember clearly the first time I ate an authentic Scottish shortbread biscuit. Wow! I instantly loved the crispy exterior and soft buttery interior. I also enjoyed the crumbly nature of these delicious biscuits. I came up with this version of shortbread (so named because of the high fat content that shortens the gluten) to satisfy my craving…although I will admit it took me quite a few attempts to get it just right. I enjoy the flavor of sweetened chickpeas – there is just something there that tugs at my cultural upbringing. I know it sounds a bit strange, but give them a go and hopefully, you will be pleasantly surprised!

Yield: about 18-20 pieces

  • 120 grams very fine sugar (not powdered)
  • 75 grams extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 grams chickpea flour
  • 100 grams gluten-free flour
  • 25 grams rice flour (or corn starch)
  • 3 grams baking powder
  • 8 grams salt
  • 3 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4-5 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • Preheat the oven to 180° C.
  • Combine the sugar and oil in a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer for two minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the flour to the oil and sugar mixture.
  • Add the orange flower water, lemon zest and just enough of the non-dairy milk as necessary to get the dough to just hold together.
  • Roll out the dough until it is 1-cm thick. Cut out circles or rectangles (you can re-roll leftover dough) and poke some holes in the top with a fork. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking tray.
  • Bake at 180° C for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160° and continue baking an additional 7-10 minutes.

Jack’s Fresh Tip

I like changing the shapes of these shortbread and make rectangles instead of circles. See what works for you. Also, try using the zest of an orange instead of the lemon. This will create a slightly fruity note to the shortbread. Make sure you read the ingredients for the gluten-free flour. A rising agent, like baking powder, is often added to the flour and that would make these cookies too soft. Finally, just use a bit of orange juice if you can’t find the orange blossom water (usually in an Asian store or a shop catering to North African or Eastern Mediterranean cuisine).

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