Gluten Free Szechuan Shortbread



First, a stunning photo by Coleen Sullins.


She joined us for a trip to ABR then afterwards sent along this Birch beauty for the post.  It almost appears that she was laying down for the shot…I didn’t ask if perhaps she fell while skiing and noticed the great view :-)

It’s good to take moments and notice the beauty whenever you can!  And sometimes lying in the snow provides a good opportunity.  Believe me, I have spent a fair amount of time on the ground after a fall and the wonderland views from a stopped position have helped ease my bruised knees, bum, and ego.





Gluten Free Szechuan Shortbread for your Valentine’s Day! 


Easy?  Yes.

A little crumbly?  Yes.

Scrumptious and addictive?  Heck Yes.




These buddies are a bit delicate to make but the tastiness factor made it well worth the effort.  Butter is of course a main flavor factor, then the szechuan peppercorns have a lovely and mildly numbing effect on the tongue to give this cookie another dimension.  The Yum Dimension.

Sweet rice flour is stickier than other rice flours and helps hold things together.  Shortbread is crumbly even on a good day with gluten-filled flour, and with rice flour it’s even more delicate.  But the flavor is so delightful you won’t mind a few extra crumbs to lick up.





Happy Valentine’s Day!! 


Gluten Free Szechuan Shortbread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 20-30 minutes


Cream together by hand or with a paddle attachment to a mixer:

14 Tablespoons Butter, softened

3/4 cup Sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla

Stir just until butter is fully mixed in, don’t over stir — you don’t want the butter to be fluffy.


Mix in a bowl:

1 1/3 cup White Rice Flour

1/2 cup Sweet Rice Flour

1/2 cup Cornstarch

2 teaspoons Ground Flax Seed (or 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum)

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan Pepper, crushed

1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

Add half of the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar and stir in, then add the second half.  It will seem crumbly but keep stirring until the dough holds together. 

To make cookies roll out the dough onto a smooth (gf) floured surface, cut into desired shapes and gently use a (gf) floured spatula to transfer the cookie onto a greased cookie or lined with parchment paper.  Bake until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool before gently moving the cookies.  They break easily…but they taste fantastic! 

OR spread the dough out onto a buttered baking pan if using it as a bottom layer crust for bars.  

OR form small balls of dough and gently flatten with your hand or the bottom of a glass dipped in gf flour.  Leave room for spreading on the pan. 



These are not shortbread but they are gluten free—cookies my aunt and artist Jean Graham sent to us.  So beautiful!  Speaking of Jean, check out neighborhood mosaic art and her Wall of Welcome in Austin, Texas.  We could use more walls like this…



“Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.”
Lord Byron




6 thoughts on “Gluten Free Szechuan Shortbread”

  • As Scott can confirm, my only country skiing included many times on my back! Without someone to help me get up, I gave up, alas. I also cannot find all the ingredients here OR I cannot translate them or see them so guess you have to send me or save for me some of these delightful treats even after VAlentine’s Day. I always love birches so tht was a gift. It is much colder here BUT sunny and no snow or ice. Hope to see a specialist next week to straighten my spine and return to normal.

    So, here’s t the race and succes with bright red boots, hopefully snow too.


  • Thanks Ruth for the lovely compliment.I did not fall down that time, but I did follow the advice of a National Geographic photographer who I heard speak one time and that is – always turn around, you might find the best picture is behind you (in this case above me). Have always thought this was excellent advice. Working on another birch photo translating it to a lithograph.

    Love those cookies too! Coleen

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