Recipe 33: Gluten-Free Hazelnut Shortbread

Did you miss me? I’m so sorry I’ve been away for so long. I made this recipe on the last day in my house (more on that next time), so this post was delayed by all my moving activities.


I made these ones for the birthday of a co-worker who is gluten intolerant. It started off rough.

I was busy packing up some boxes in my room when at 10:40, I realized I was planning to bake that night. Fred Meyer closes at 11:00, so I ran out the door and sped drove the speed limit to the store.

Brown rice flour? Check. Hazelnuts…hazelnuts. Crap. They were out. I almost gave up and ditched the baking, but I decided to try the small market near my house. Of course they had hazelnuts. And brown rice flour! I could have avoided Fred Meyer altogether.

Breathe. Move on.

The recipe called for blanched hazelnuts. I didn’t know what that meant, so I asked Siri. She didn’t know, but she did a web search (typical) and I got instructions.

Step 1: Toast hazelnuts


Step 2: Place nuts on a paper towel. Take both sides of the paper towel and rub the nuts briskly. I know.

This did not work. What a mess. I ended up putting them back in the oven and rubbing them between my hands. I gave up after a while and kept some skin.

Still, I know.

Step 3: Grind hazelnuts in the food processor.

Easy! I love that thing.

Step 4: Split a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds with a paring knife.

That’s $6 worth of seeds.

Step 5: Gather other ingredients: Flour, butter, brown sugar, course salt, vanilla seeds.

Step 6: Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla seeds.

Yes, that’s the metal bowl. I had to use it because I packed the glass one already. How embarrassing.

Step 7: Add flour, nuts, and salt.

Step 8: Smoosh it into an 8-inch square pan. Chill 30 minutes.

Step 9: With a wooden skewer, pierce dough all over.

I didn’t have a skewer so I used a toothpick. Not quite the same.

Step 10: With a knife, score shortbread into sixteen 4-by-1-inch bars.

Step 11: Bake, then let cool on wire rack.

Step 12: Cut into bars along score lines and let cool completely.

They broke apart a bit. Ugh.

Not bad though. I had nobody but Siri to take my pic and she wouldn’t even do it.

Yields: 18
I got: 16
Not sure how she thinks I’m going to get 18 when she told me to cut them into 16 bars.

Start time: 11:20
End time: 1:15 (1 hour, 55 mins)
Martha’s estimated time: 1 hour, 30 mins

What did I learn?

  • Not all gluten-free stuff is weird! These tasted good.
  • Waiting 2 weeks to write the blog causes a boring post. (Sorry)

What do I need to learn?

  • What is the trick for blanching hazelnuts and removing the skin? Should I just bake them longer from the start? Those damn paper towels ripped up.

Happy birthday Caitlin! Here’s a review from the GF girl herself  (she ate them all):

“They were delicious! Better than anything I’ve ever made with rice flour, and I’m the gluten-intolerant one. 🙂 I was impressed with how well they stayed together, especially being made with rice flour. Thank you for the early birthday gluten-free goodness!”

Seacrest out.
Oh wait, who am I? I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics.

4 responses to “Recipe 33: Gluten-Free Hazelnut Shortbread

  1. I went to buy a vanilla bean the other day and it was $10 for one bean. I thought of you. THEN I found a pack of 2 in the produce section near the tropical stuff for $2.99! Totally put the $10 one back. You should look and see if you can find the “tropical” cheaper vanilla beans too!

  2. meganvsbeer

    These were not awful. They would be great with a latte. Siri, make me a latte.

  3. Leann

    I will trade you shortbread for coffee!

  4. Amanda

    So, apparently you wrote this awile ago and maybe you figured out a trick to the hazelnuts. However, I will roast them and put them in a collander and swish them around in there. Kinda messy but usually works. I enjoyed your blog…I laughed a lot!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: