Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Shortbread

Oh my gosh is it shortbread??? Again?? When does the obsession with shortbread end you may ask??? My answer at the moment is never!!! As a kid, I really hated the short texture in cookies where they just crumbled apart in my hands. I always preferred my cookies soft and honestly, I still like my chocolate chip cookies a little under baked so that they stay soft for days! However, I think shortbread reminds me so much of the Great British Baking Show and I refuse to watch the newest season without my mother present, so I’m compensating by making as much shortbread as humanly possible. Shortbread is also a celebration of simplicity with a huge flavor packed inside each cookie! I never appreciated nuance in my cookie but I’m really starting to, especially with the quantity of cookies that I’ve been making lately!

I actually made this recipe about a week before I choose to post about it because I wanted some time to experiment with the recipe a little bit. This recipe is originally from King Arthur Flour where it was credited to Alyssa Rimmer of Simply Quinoa! So you can thank Ms. Rimmer for the original recipe and myself for a few modifications. When I made it the first time, it was really heavy on the cinnamon and pecan but lighter on the maple. I had chosen these cookies for their maple flavoring and was disappointed when they didn’t deliver as much punch as hoped for in the maple department. As much as I complained about it not going as perfectly as I wanted, my boyfriend still taste-tested as many as he could get his hands on! So obviously, there are fans of the original recipe but I’ll be putting my variations next to the recipe below. I replaced the confectioners sugar with maple sugar and doubled the amount of salt. I thought it was missing salt from the original recipe but a doubled amount may be too salty for some. These are also a super quick cookie to throw together, so the opportunities to modify the recipe just a tad to your taste are only limited by your quantities of the ingredients! Let me know what you think of recipe or any of the modifications in the comments below! Happy baking!

Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Shortbread Recipe

  • 96 grams (1 cup) almond flour
  • 43 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 21 grams (3 tablespoons) confectioners or powdered sugar (For extra maple, use maple sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used 1/4 teaspoon and was happier with that in the extra maple cookies)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract (use regular if that’s what you have and it’s not super important if it’s gluten-free)
  • 35 grams (1/3 cup) chopped pecans
  1. Mix everything but the pecans in a bowl and mix until the dough comes together. Add the pecans and stir to combine.
  2. Using plastic wrap shape dough into a log. Wrap and roll on a counter to round it. Chill for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the dough form plastic wrap and slice into 1/4″ rounds and place on the sheet.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies

So these cookies owe their inspiration to my lovely friend, Hannah. We were video chatting the other day and she talked about all the lovely things that she’s been making with her gluten free sourdough starter! It put me in the mood to make something but I had less than an hour before my next class so it had to be something quick. Hannah suggested banana bread, a quarantine classic, but I’m embarrassingly behind on my grocery shopping and didn’t have much around. I didn’t set out to make a gluten-free recipe but it was the easiest and quickest with the ingredients I had available. The recipe has five ingredients, most of which you’ll probably have in your pantry. I always have almond flour around because I make macarons frequently but it’s not a hard ingredient to find in most grocery stores.

Now for the tips and tricks with this recipe! This made about 17 bite size cookies and I had to hold myself back from eating most of them! The cookies aren’t very big and the batch size is small so feel free to scale up the recipe to fit your needs. However, I wouldn’t adjust the size of the cookies. Even with using melted butter, these cookies are VERY short/crumbly. This is due to the use of almond flour and makes a very easy crumbly cookie. If they were made any larger, they would probably collapse under their own weight when picked up. The cross-hatching is also super easy to do with a fork, no special equipment required! This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour website and on it, they have several variations for the flavor of the cookie including chocolate/pistachio and maple/pecan. I would start with the basic recipe and expand on that! Even if you wanted to try all the different flavor variations, it wouldn’t take more than an afternoon. So get busy and get baking!

Almond Flour Cookie Recipe

  • 96 grams (1 cup) almond flour
  • 43 grams (3 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature or softened
  • 21 grams (3 tablespoons) powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until a cohesive dough forms.
  3. Scoop out 1 inch balls of dough using a teaspoon cookie scoop and arrange on the sheet. Leave out an inch and a half of room between dough balls.
  4. Use a fork to flatten each cookie, making a cross hatch design on top.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes or until they turn light brown on top (My oven took about 12 minutes)
  6. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them to a rack to completely cool before eating.