These red, white, and blue gluten-free star-spangled shortbread cookies just scream God Bless America! – the perfect patriotic treat for your 4th of July celebrations!
How on earth is the 4th of July almost here already?! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure it was February, and then I blinked, and then all of a sudden I found myself at the end of June.
I guess it’s true what they say: time flies when you’re having fun!
And speaking of FUN, I’m sooo excited for 4th of July weekend, and not just because the 4th means I get to shove my mouth full of these ↓ adorable and DELISH gluten-free shortbread cookies (though that definitely is towards the top of the “why the 4th is so amaaazing” list).
Every year for the 4th we head up to my parents’ lake house in northern Pennsylvania for the annual “Canadohta Bocce Open” that they host (yes, my parents built a bocce court in their yard – because: #priorities), a smorgasbord of delicious food, lots of pontoon, kayak, and paddleboard adventures, and a killer fireworks display over the water.
So, seeing as how I’m obviously going to need some sustenance to get me through all of this fun and competition (tough job but someone’s gotta do it 😉 ) I thought: I need to make a treat that will really fuel up my bocce ball tossing arm, and will also scream I LOVE AMERICA soooo loud that all of our forefathers will have no choice but to send me all of their bocce winning well-wishes/karma/juju/what-have-you.
Because this girl? She loves her country.
…and therefore deserves to win the bocce tournament.
So, naturally a delicious gluten-free shortbread cookie, cut into a STAR shape, and slathered in red, white, and blue, was my only option. I mean, come on – there really are few things more patriotic.
Okay, maybe there are a taaaad more than a few. But don’t tell the forefathers that. I need all the good bocce juju I can get 😉
I know you’re wondering (and maybe you’re not, but humor me): why shortbread instead of a normal sugar cookie cut-out?
Because shortbread the most delicious cookie, ever. Duuuuh.
But in all seriousness, there is just something about biting into a shortbread cookie – it’s rich and buttery and just absolutely melts in your mouth. Don’t get me wrong – sugar cookies are pretty darn good, but they just can’t even compete in my opinion.
I also love that shortbread can handle a jam or buttercream filling, where a sugar cookie can be a bit too soft and a bit too sweet to handle the extra pizazz. When I make shortbread cookies, I always make them into little cookie sandwiches for that very reason — everybody could use a little extra pizazz, don’t ya think? Especially on the 4th.
For these cookies I went with just a plain ol’ raspberry jam filling because a) it’s my favorite and b) it added a nice extra patriotic touch, but feel free to get creative! Triple berry jam, strawberry cream cheese frosting, blackberry buttercream — all of those options would be just perfect.
Also, I’m not sure if you noticed because it’s a bit subtle (but I think it will win me a few extra bonus points with my friends, the forefathers), but I added colored sugar crystals to the cookie dough so they have an extra little patriotic flair. Sure, they get a little lost beneath all of the red and blue “white” chocolate and sprinkles, but it’s totally worth putting in the extra effort to add them in because it will make you geek out all the more over how adorably patriotic your cookies are, AND it will help you win bocce games*
*note: this is not a guarantee. I will report back on the star-spangled shortbread cookie’s magical bocce-winning powers at a later date.
Wishing you the HAPPIEST, star-spangled shortbready-est, 4th of July ever.
…and here’s to hoping that these little patriotic cookies with bring us BOTH the best of luck.
God Bless America!
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1¼ cup gluten-free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if you flour blend already includes it)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse blue sugar crystals
- 2 teaspoons coarse red sugar crystals
- ¼ cup candy melts, half blue and half red
- 2 Tablespoons rasperry jam
- 1 Tablespoon patriotic sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar together, until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg yolk until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, mixing well.
- Add in the blue and red sugar crystals, and gently mix until all the crystals are evenly dispersed.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- On a gluten-free floured surface or a baking mat, place the chilled dough, cover the top with plastic wrap, and roll out to about ¼ inch thickness. Using a mini star cookie cutter, cut out the cookies, and then transfer them to an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just begin to slightly brown. Remove cookies from oven, and allow them to cool completely before transferring from the cookie sheet.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, spread jam on the bottom side of one cookie, and then make a sandwich using another cookie, bottom side facing in towards the jam. Repeat until all cookies are made into jam sandwiches.
- In 2 small microwave safe dishes, melt the candy melts by microwaving them for 30 seconds, stirring, and then microwaving for 30 seconds more and stirring again. Continue this process until the candy melts are completely smooth and melted.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a pastry bag* and pipe over the shortbread cookie sandwiches. Immediately sprinkle with patriotic sprinkles.