DessertDecember-January 2013

Gluten-Free Toasted Coconut Shortbread

Elegant and flavorful, shortbread squares travel well.

gluten free Toasted Coconut Shortbread

Oksana Charla

Molasses Ginger Spice Cookies and Toasted Coconut Shortbread

Toasted coconut is a great substitution for nuts in holiday baking. Don’t like coconut? Substitute an equal amount of ground almonds (if tolerated) or fold in 2 teaspoons orange zest in place of coconut. For decoration, drizzle Confectioners’ Glaze over chocolate in pretty designs or top with sprinkles or colored sugar.



1 recipe Holiday Cookie Master Dough
2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut, divided
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips



gluten free Toasted Coconut Shortbread

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

2. Spread coconut over prepared cookie sheet. Place in preheated oven and bake until coconut begins to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from oven and cool.

3. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil and lightly oil with vegetable spray.

4. Rub toasted coconut between fingers to break into small pieces. Measure out 1 cup and set aside the remainder.

5. In a large bowl, beat dough with 1 cup toasted coconut to combine. Press mixture into prepared baking pan.

6. Place in preheated oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Remove from heat.

7. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top and let stand 2 minutes or until softened. Spread over shortbread until it’s evenly coated with melted chocolate. Sprinkle reserved coconut over melted chocolate, pressing gently so it adheres to the top.

8. Let stand to harden. Using edges of foil, lift shortbread out of the pan and set it on a cutting board. Cut into squares or diamonds. Store in an airtight container between layers of wax paper.

Each cookie contains 217 calories, 12g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 27mg cholesterol, 27mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein.

Confectioners’ Glaze


This recipe can also be used to make a quick frosting; simply reduce the amount of milk to achieve spreading consistency.

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk of choice, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine sugar, 1½ tablespoons milk and vanilla and mix together. Gradually add remaining milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture is thin enough to drizzle over shortbread.

Food editor Beth Hillson (, is author of Gluten-Free Makeovers.

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