Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies – A Lesson Learned the Yummy Way.

Before Baking. Photo Credit: Jenny Ward

One of the challenges of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease as an adult, aside from having gastrointestinal problems literally my entire life (since being an infant), is having to figure out how to make foods I love again. This time around, I wanted to make shortbread cookies like my mom used to make at holidays. I secured the recipe she has been using since 2014 from her via social media. (Available at and bought myself some President’s Choice Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour. It had great reviews and had pictures of chocolate chip cookies on the box so I figured it must be safe to use in other cookies as well. Most gluten free baking recipe’s that I’ve come across tell you to mix the different types of flours yourself but I decided to try to use a GF pre-mixed flour in a normal recipe. If other people have had success, why shouldn’t I? Right?

The shortbread cookies tasted delicious, the flavour was not that different from what I could recall in my memory banks. My son agreed, they were yummy.

Well here is the problem that I encountered and what I think may have caused it.

After Baking. Photo Credit: Jenny Ward

The problem was that even when cooled the cookies were beyond fragile. Even picking them up caused the edges to begin crumbling. One bite and the rest of the cookie fell into pieces. The only remedy was to put the whole cookie in your mouth at once. (Who needs two-bite cookies anyways?)

The shortbread recipe calls for a specific amount of flour and of cornstarch… the all-purpose gluten free flour that I was using already contained cornstarch. I think this is what made the cookies soft and fluffier than normal. Even increasing the baking time didn’t correct for the frailty of the cookies. Next time I think I will have to either choose a flour mix that doesn’t contain corn starch, or I will have to mix my own gluten-free flour.

Photo Credit: Jenny Ward
Photo Credit: Jenny Ward
Photo Credit: Jenny Ward
Photo Credit: Jenny Ward


Recipe can be found at: