Oh Honey Honey Pistachio Shortbread
Gluten and egg free
When it comes to sugar alternatives, honey is the queen in my opinion. The taste is sweet, but earthy and you always get an added moisture that makes a sweet treat seem all the more indulgent. So whenever I can, I find a way to swap the granulated sugar in a recipe for honey. Now, when you are swapping out sugar in favor of honey, you need to make some adjustments. Generally, you need to pull back on liquid in a recipe (just a couple tablespoons or so) or add a little more dry ingredients (like flour). Some will say that you should also add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, but I don’t think you always need to. When it comes to using honey in cakes, I would add the extra baking soda, but in cookies, I don’t bother.
Let’s talk shortbread. I love LOVE Alison Roman’s Salted Butter Shortbread cookies (also known as the cookies that broke instagram). The recipe is easy, the ingredients are basic and I basically always have them in my kitchen and the recipe is infinitely adaptable in my eyes. I’ve added citrus zests for added zing, swapped chocolate for dried fruits and nuts and played around with adding cocoa powder to the recipe for a seriously bitter, dark shortbread.
I have always wanted to swap the sugar in her recipe, so that is what I have done here. The recipe is about the same, but with a few tweaks. Just a note, I use a KitchenAid stand mixer for this recipe, which makes it sooooo much easier to mix. You can do it with a handheld electric mixer, but it will take a little longer and your kitchen counter will definitely be messy.
Before you get your fingers all buttery, grab some plastic wrap, stretch out a 12-18 inch piece and set it out flat close to your workspace. It will be ready once your dough is done, which helps, trust me.
1 stick plus 1 tbsp salted organic butter, cut into small cubes
1/8 cup organic cane sugar (you can use granulated too)
1/4 cup raw organic honey (trick for getting honey out of the measuring cup: spray it with a little cooking spray before measuring the honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract (This alcohol free version is my favorite)
Flakey salt for finishing (Maldon is my favorite)
11/4 cups gluten-free measure-for-measure Flour (I use King Arthur’s blend)
1/4 cup ground pistachios (I make my own by pulsing pistachios in the food processor for 5 minutes. Some of it will be finely ground and some chunky. All good).
2 tsps ground ginger
1/4-1/2 cup white chocolate chunks (I give them an extra chop so there are some flakes and some bigger chunks)
First, whisk together the flour, ground pistachios and ground ginger in a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or larger bowl if using hand mixer), combine the sugar, honey, butter and vanilla extract. Beat with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl and attachment halfway through. This will take about 4 minutes (a little longer with the handheld mixer, about 6).
Add about half of the flour-pistachio mix to the butter and honey mix and mix on low to medium speed until just combined. Add the remaining flour mix along with the white chocolate and mix on low to medium speed until all the flour disappears from the bottom of the bowl. You might need to scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle attachment a few times.
Using your hands, get all the dough out of the bowl and shape it into a log. The dough will be pretty soft at this point, but should still be moldable and maintain its shape. Place the dough on your prepare plastic wrap, trying to shape it into a 12-14 inch log. Carefully roll the log of dough in plastic wrap, twisting the ends to keep everything in place. It will look kinda like a sausage of dough. Promise it won’t taste like that.
Place the dough in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until it is solid. (The dough will keep in the freezer for two weeks).
When you’re ready to bake, preheat your own to 350 degree. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take your log out dough out of the plastic wrap and using a good knife, cut dough into 1 cm slices. You don’t want them too thick or thin, so use your judgement.
Place the dough rounds in your baking sheet, giving them about 1 to 2 inches of personal space. Top each with a little bit of flakey finishing salt and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes then place in wire cooling rack to completely cool. Enjoy!