Here is what this season is about: you baking in your kitchen, with your kids, your friends, with good music playing. And the joy we can give people with a few flaky bites of shortbread.
Baking is so much more than following a recipe. In fact, I think you have to make a recipe once just to understand its dance: preheating the oven, then combining the flours and salt. Do you cream the butter and sugar? Or melt the butter? Do you knead the butter with your hands? White sugar or brown? Flaky or fluffy? Which do you want? What story is this cookie trying to tell?
That’s why I am so happily absorbed with my hands in the flours. This is work beyond words. It’s about feel and instinct and trusting yourself and being in the moments and whistling while you work, the magic combination of pushing and acceptance, listening and wishing, watching for the sugar and butter to become one, and starting over if none of it works, without any fuss.
I love baking with all my heart.
And if you can have gluten-free shortbread? The flaky layers and crisp crust, the mild sweetness, the way it melts on the tongue? So much the better.
You want to try it? Here you go.
You can find more of Shauna and Danny’s recipes, essays, photographs and words of comfort about living gluten-free at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna shares food ideas and answers questions on Twitter. She also pins photographs and recipes on Pinterest and Foodily. There’s a great community at the Facebook fan page for Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.