These Slice & Bake shortbread biscuits are the perfect afternoon treat, the perfect biscuit to go with a lovely cup of tea. With just a few simple ingredients, these buttery traditional Scottish shortbreads are simple and quick to bake. Each biscuit is laden with chunky chocolate pieces and chopped pecans. Take a look at my gluten-free coeliac-friendly recipe below for shortbread that you won’t believe are gluten-free!Jump to Recipe
Scottish shortbread is traditionally made using three simple pantry staples; butter, sugar and flour. The quantities often follow a 1:2:3 ratio, but I’ve tweaked it slightly to accommodate for being gluten-free.
The butter and sugar are creamed together before adding in the flour to create a buttery crumbly dough. My take on shortbread is no different, but adds a few extra ingredients to make them gluten-free and delicious. Chocolate chunks and pecans are one of my favourite flavour pairings and so a generous handful of each are chopped and thrown in the mix.
What are Slice & Bake biscuits?
These biscuits are incredibly simple to make using the Slice & Bake method. Rather than rolling out the dough after chilling and cutting out the shortbread shapes with a cookie cutter, the dough is formed into a long cylinder shape, wrapped in clingfilm and placed in the fridge to set overnight or for a minimum of 1-2 hours before baking. Once chilled, the dough can be unwrapped and simply sliced into rounds before being transferred straight to the baking tray to bake.
What equipment do I need for these biscuits?
- Bowl and wooden spoon
- Baking paper
What ingredients do I need?
- Sugar – Golden caster sugar is great for shortbread but you can also use white sugar or caster sugar too. Sugar adds sweetness and structure to the biscuits
- Butter – Use unsalted butter for this recipe so that you can control the amount of salt being added. The butter needs to be softened to room temperature before being creamed with the sugar. Try to use a good quality butter as butter is a main ingredient here and you want your shortbread to taste great
- Gluten free flour – A gluten free flour blend such as Doves Farm Plain Flour or Schär Mix C for Cakes is perfect for these biscuits. Self-raising flours tend to contain baking powder which means you can’t fully control the amount going in and therefore the spread of the biscuits. Try to go for a plain flour so you can anticipate and control the spread
- Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten free recipes and there’s no exceptions here. Doves Farm is my preferred choice but you can use any brand. Xanthan Gum is a gluten replacement for gluten-free baking and helps to replace the lost elasticity that gluten provides, keeping your biscuits together and stopping it from crumbling into dry pieces
- Salt – A pinch of salt in a recipe enhances the flavours of the other ingredients and offsets the sweetness of the cake
- Chopped pecans – Chopped pecans are added to the mixture to give the nutty tones to the biscuits
- Chocolate chunks – Dark, milk or white chocolate chunks can be used depending on your preferences
Tips & Tricks
Chilling the dough beforehand is essential for these biscuits in order to give the butter chance to solidify and prevent too much spread in the baking process. I prefer to chill the dough overnight but an hour or two will also do fine.
For perfect slices, try slicing the biscuits with a thin piece of thread instead of a knife.
If you prefer the perfectionist look rather than the rustic look and want perfectly round biscuits at the end, place a round glass larger than the biscuits themselves over each biscuit and swirl it around touching the biscuits as you swirl. Do this immediately after removing the biscuits from the oven when they’re still piping hot. Once they’ve cooked slightly this trick won’t work and you’ll break your biscuits as they’re quite fragile. The circular motions will round off your biscuits into the perfect round shape.
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Scottish shortbread with chocolate chunks and pecans
- 230 g unsalted butter softened, room temperature
- 110 g caster sugar
- 360 g gluten-free plain flour blend *
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum
- ¼ tsp salt
- 40 g pecans chopped
- 40 g chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 160° C Fan and line a baking tray or two with baking paper.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together using a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not overmix as this will result in melting biscuits!230 g unsalted butter, 110 g caster sugar
- Add the flour, Xanthan Gum, corn starch salt, chocolate chunks and pecans to the mixture. Bring together to a dough using the wooden spoon. This may take a while, so persevere! Using your hands may be faster, but make sure your hands are cold and that you do not overmix the dough. The dough should come together but still be rather crumbly!360 g gluten-free plain flour blend, 1 tbsp corn starch, ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum, ¼ tsp salt, 40 g pecans, 40 g chocolate chunks
- Form a cylinder with the dough and wrap in clingfilm. Place it in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.
- Remove from the fridge and slice the dough into rounds, placing them on the baking tray at 1 inch intervals as as to accommodate for any spread during the baking process.
- Bake on the middle shelf for around 12 minutes until slightly golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and place a large glass over each biscuit, creating swirling motions to create perfectly round edges, Do this as soon as the biscuits come out of the oven before they have change to set.
- Allow the shortbread to cool on the baking tray as they will be too fragile and crumby to move until they have set and hardened.