I made these biscuits however for two reasons. One I won a bake off at work and one of my prizes was this cute letter stamp set from Lakeland. With valentines a few days away I decided shortbread lovehearts could be quite cute. Secondly the letter for this months alpha bakes is V. So that was sorted, a Valentines bake.
Oh there is a third reason to make these, they are yummy. Vanilla shortbread sandwiched with lemon or chocolate buttercream. As you know if you handle regular shortbread to much it becomes tough, this is the caused by the gluten in the flour, The best thing about using gluten free flour is that the gluten is not there, which means that you can re-roll the scraps of this dough until they are all used up and no tough biscuits occur. Actually they are fantastically short, I think they are better than shortbread I made with wheat flour, hurrah! I have used lactose free butter for that buttery taste, If anyone uses a completely dairy free spread to make shortbread I would love to know how they turn out.
You could make these biscuits in any shape you like, not just hearts, and you do not have to stamp them if you do not have stamps, they will still taste delicious.
200g lactose free spread
100g caster sugar
tsp vanilla extract/paste
275g GF plain flour
1/2 tsp xantham gum
For the buttercream
50g lactose free spread
150g icing sugar
splash of diary free milk if needed
Tablespoon of cocoa powder
zest of a lemon
Beat the spread, sugar and vanilla paste together until combined and creamy, then fold in the the flour ans xantham gum. It will initially look like you have way too much flour but be patient all will be fine. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Line the baking sheets with baking parchment. Roll out the dough between two sheets of clingfilm until 5mm thick, stamp out shapes of your choosing and transfer them to the parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer the baking trays to the fridge for 15 minutes. While the cut out biscuits are chilling preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN/ gas mark 4.
Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool briefly on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream beat the sugar and spread together until light and creamy, if it need a little help to come together add the tiniest splash of dairy free milk. I then split the buttercream in half. To one half I added the lemon zest and to the other I added the cocoa powder which I had made into a paste with a tablespoon of boiling water.
Once the biscuits are cool sandwich together with the buttercream. I only sandwich a few together at a time. I keep the unsandwiched biscuits in the tin and the buttercream covered in the fridge. I then sandwich biscuits as and when I need them. This way the biscuits stay beautifully crisp.