• Jennine Bryant

Gluten-free raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate shortbread


Take me to the recipe


You probably hadn't noticed, what with all the heart-covered advertising everywhere, but soon it will be Valentine's Day. That special day when retailers try to guilt you into spending vast sums of money to express your love to your significant other, or your cat, if that's your thing.


I've always been a little skeptical of Valentine's Day. Personally, I like to receive expressions of love throughout the year and not on one, consumer driven day along with everyone else.


I had long assumed, and wrongly so, that Valentine's Day was created, and heavily marketed, by Hallmark, the greetings card company. A visit to the Norwich museum late last year taught me that Valentine's Day was actually a huge occasion throughout Norfolk during Victorian times, how cool is that? There was even a character called "Jack Valentine", much like Father Christmas or the Easter Bunny, who would leave presents on your doorstop, knock and then run away!


It seems that the true origin of Valentine's Day is somewhat of a mystery. Having done a bit of reading, I think my favourite theory is that it derives from a Roman festival called Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a celebration that took place in mid February, much like Valentine's Day. Everyone would get wildly drunk, then the men would hit the women with goat hides in hopes of increasing fertility. Not so much like Valentine's Day...


All this to say, I might be a bit of a Valentine's skeptic but traditions are fun, and it's never a bad thing to express love to those you hold dear. One of my favourite ways to show love is by cooking, no surprises there. So, here is a delightful little recipe this Valentines, from me to you, with love.



These shortbread biscuits are buttery soft and so very dainty. They are everything shortbread should be, with the added kick of raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate. Yum! Being both super easy to make and so pretty, makes them the perfect choice for gifts. Just saying.


Notes


100% the most important part of the recipe process when making these shortbread biscuits is giving them ample time in the fridge to solidify before cooking them. Please don't skip this step, please don't put the dough log in the fridge for half an hour and think that it will be fine. The dough log needs a good few hours to properly harden before it is ready. Have patience my friends and you will be rewarded with perfect little biscuits!


Speaking of the dough log, this can actually be frozen for later use. Just make sure to wrap it really well and then pop it in the freezer. If you have a sharp enough knife or strong enough arms, you can cut through the frozen dough log and bake the biscuits straight from frozen! Just be aware that they may need a few extra minutes in the oven if you do this.


It's really important to treat the freeze dried raspberries gently. Luckily the dough is soft before being refrigerated, so the freeze dried raspberries can be folded in nicely. They are prone to disintegrating into dust, and, while that gives the cookies a nice soft pink colour and a dainty taste of raspberry, they are much better with whole raspberry pieces. Trust me on this.




Gluten-free raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate shortbread


Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes

Makes 24- 26 biscuits


Ingredients

226 g unsalted butter

160g caster sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

375g gluten-free plain flour

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons pistachios, finely chopped

3 tablespoons freeze dried raspberries, finely chopped

50g white cooking chocolate, melted


Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer or clean bowl, beat the butter and the sugar until it is light and creamy.

  2. Add the egg and the vanilla extract, and then mix again until everything is thoroughly combined.

  3. Sift in the gluten-free plain flour and the salt, and mix once again until combined.

  4. Fold in the chopped pistachios, and then add the freeze dried raspberries to the mixture and gently fold them in, taking care to not over mix, so that the raspberries still retain their structure.

  5. Place the dough onto a large piece of greaseproof or baking paper, fold the paper over the top and gently roll the dough into a log shape. Then, place this into the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

  6. When ready to cook the biscuits, preheat the oven to 160ºC fan oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  7. When the oven is up to temperature, remove the dough log from the fridge and, using a sharp knife, slice 1cm wide discs to make the biscuits. Place these on the baking tray an inch apart from one another. If you do not have enough space to cook all the biscuits at once, only cut the amount of biscuits that will fit on to your baking tray. Place the rest of the dough log in the fridge until you are ready to cook the next batch.

  8. Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes. You can tell when they are done as they will no longer have an oily shine on the top, they will look dry and may turn slightly golden at the edges. Remove them from the oven, allow them to cool on the baking tray for 5 - 10 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  9. When the biscuits are cooled, take the melted white chocolate and drizzle it liberally across the biscuits. Wait until the chocolate has dried before serving the biscuits.