Gluten Free Boardwalk Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Today I’m posting a version of the Pecan Shortbread cookies from the Boardwalk Bakery that I’ve adapted to make gluten free. You may wonder why I’ve decided to do that, since nothing else has been gluten free on the blog thus far.
Well, I’ve had some health issues, and one of the things that I discussed with the doctor was a possible gluten sensitivity. Of course, around the same time my son was in the ER, and we were just learning that he likely had an autoimmune disease (we’re still working on that diagnosis). And then, about two weeks later, the world shut down because of COVID.
Suffice to say, doing an elimination diet wasn’t at the top of my priority list.
But while things are still weird, they have settled at least a little bit. And I decided now was as good a time as any to try the elimination diet. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t secretly hoping that it would make no difference and I could go back to consuming my normal baked goods. But even after just a week, I’m reluctantly beginning to wonder if a gluten sensitivity may be an issue after all.
It makes me sad, and I crave Chickfila right now like you wouldn’t believe. BUT – because it is a thing I’m doing, and I’ve committed to 30 days of diet (my timing sucks, right?), you will see more recipes on here that may be gluten free. You will see normal ones too, because baby and husband don’t have that problem, and I can always send it to work with him. No one has ever turned down the food yet!
So, I made these and I decided to try the GF flour I’d bought. And they didn’t come out too bad! I figured shortbread was a pretty easy place to start, as it is generally a very crumbly, short dough anyway. These cookies do have a slightly sandy texture, but that’s not totally uncommon for shortbread cookies, and it isn’t unpleasant. I kind of liked it actually. I may go back and make a pumpkin crumble and use a version of these cookies as the topping. Keep an eye out for that one – I think it will be a hit!
I used the Great Value brand GF flour for this, but you use what you have. I’m still in the baby step stages, so I’ve been buying small bags of GF flour to test out which I like best.
In any case, you’re going to follow normal baking procedures. Its really just the flour that changes here. You need to bream the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and cream again. You want it nice and mixed and creamy. Once its there, you add in your dry ingredients, and you’re only mixing until everything is absorbed.
I then poured in my pecans, let the mixer go around for about 15 seconds, and then dumped my dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper.
You roll the dough in the parchment paper, so its roughly a 2″ thick log, twist off the ends, and put it in the freezer for about 2 hours (or whenever you get to it).
When you want to bake the cookies, you will preheat the oven to 325, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and then slice your cookie logs into 3/4″ – 1″ thick slices. Lay your slices out about 2″ apart on the sheet, and bake for 40 minutes. I pulled them out and let mine cool on the cookie sheet before I frosted them.
The frosting is super easy. I used maple syrup because I didn’t have maple flavoring, but the taste would be much stronger with maple flavor. Just mix your softened butter and sugar together (I did it with a fork because I’m lazy and didn’t want to wash any more dishes), and then add in the maple flavor (or syrup), vanilla, and mix. If it is too thick, add hot water one teaspoon at a time until it is the right consistency. You can make it thin and pour it over the cookies, but I just made it spreadable and used a spoon to spread it over the tops of the cookies.
They’re really delicious, so I definitely encourage you to try them!
Gluten Free version of the Boardwalk Bakery Pecan Shortbread Cookies
- 3 3/4 cup Gluten Free Flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp maple flavoring
- 2 tsp hot water
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy – about 3 minutes on medium low speed.
Add the vanilla and cream for another minute.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just blended together. Then add in the pecans and mix for another 15 seconds, or until just combined.
Turn dough out onto parchment paper (or wax paper) and roll into 2" thick logs. Twist off the ends and freeze at least 2 hours. Can be frozen longer, if needed.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lined a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice your logs into 3/4" – 1" thick slices, and place on baking sheet 2" apart.
Bake for 40 minutes, then remove and let cool on the baking sheet. While the cookies are cooling, make frosting.
Mix butter and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add in vanilla and maple flavoring and mix. Add hot water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached.
Either pour or spread frosting onto cookies.