Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

gluten free shortbread

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

Gluten free shortbread cookies are definitely a crowd pleaser with their rich buttery taste and their hint of pistachios.

Growing up we rarely had homemade cookies at our house.  Both my parents worked long hours and our house and kitchen were very small.  Store bought packaged cookies and the occasional bakery made cookies were all we had.  Homemade cookies were something saved for visiting our grandmother or friends.

My husband’s English mother made the best shortbread cookies I had ever tasted.  Whenever I visited I made sure to get a few of them and then sneaked a few more when she wasn’t looking.  I like pretty much ALL cookie but there was something about the rich buttery texture of these shortbread cookies that melted in your mouth.

These gluten free shortbread cookies are rich, buttery and nutty with the addition of pistachios.

gluten free shortbread

I used roasted and salted pistachios that needed to be shelled.  Shelling roasted pistachios is extremely easy and probably the hardest part is not eating them.  Most pistachios already are cracked slightly open and all that you need to do is place your thumbs on either side of the cracked shell and pull apart.  If in your shelling you come by a pistachio that is not cracked open already I usually just throw it out.  You can try and pry it open or smash it with a hammer but I personally don’t think it is worth the effort and I just move on to a new one.

I tried this recipe with the already shelled pistachios at Costco but I found they turned the batter oily and the cookies were not quite as good.  

I first shelled and then chopped the pistachios in the food processor leaving them still coarsely chopped and then set them aside.

I added the sugar, cinnamon, salt, rice flour, cornstarch and tapioca starch to the processor and mixed everything together.

With the food processor still running I added the butter in pieces and then the vanilla.  I let this mix a bit and slowly added the water until the dough pulled away from the sides of the bowl.  At this point I threw in the pistachios and let the whole thing mix a bit.

I put the dough in a bowl and covered with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for about a half hour to let it chill and firm up a bit.

I separated the dough into 2 parts and rolled it out between two pieces of plastic wrap approximately 1″ thick and cut it out with the smallest cookie cutter 1 1/4″.  I then placed them 1 1/2″ apart on the cookie sheet and baked them in a preheat 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until they browned slightly.

Once they cooled I sprinkled them with confectioners sugar.


Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 cup Pistachios shelled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coarsely chop pistachios and set aside
  3. In a food processor or mixing bowl, add rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  4. While food processor is still mixing, cut up butter and slowly add to the flour mixture. Then add the vanilla. Batter will be somewhat dry and crumbly at this point. Slowly add water until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl. Mix in the pistachios.
  5. Turn dough out to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.
  6. Roll out dough between 2 piece of plastic wrap to 1" thickness and then cut out with a 1 1/4" round cookie cutter. Place on parchment covered baking pan and cook for 10-15 minutes or until cookies start to brown slightly.
  7. Allow cookies to cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin


Print Friendly

Related Post

, , , ,

2 Responses to Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

    Angie (@angiesrecipess)a May 10, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Gorgeous! I have almost all the ingredients…except tapioca…can I use cornstarch instead?

  2. Susan May 10, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Yes of course Angie. You can also use potato starch. 🙂

Leave a Reply