I find it so fun to find out about recipes from other cultures! I learned about this type of savory shortbread from my husband's co-worker who is from Indonesia. She grew up with a savory Dutch-Indonesian shortbread with cheese in it called Kaastengles. One day my husband brought one back to me so that I could try it. It was a commercial version of the shortbread, and very tasty.
From there, we found a basic recipe for the cheese shortbread which I made with success. I wanted though to develop a recipe that was both gluten and dairy free and had other savory flavors. The shortbread still has a very soft feel to it and has a great flavor. I have achieved the shortbread/cracker I was looking for! Soon, I will be exploring other flavors, so let me know if this inspires you and what else you would like to see created!
I can envision these lovely shortbread as the centerpiece of a wonderful appetizer spread. Imagine everyone's delight when they discover how delicious these are and that everyone can enjoy them!
Tomato Thyme & Sea Salt Savory Shortbread
Note: Some of the measurements in this recipe are listed in grams. I have approximations in cups, however I do suggest that if possible you use a kitchen scale to measure out these ingredients in grams to be most accurate)
125 grams vegan margarine (a little over a 1/2 cup)
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
150 grams gluten free flour mix (see recipe below) (about 3/4 cup)
GLUTEN FREE FLOUR MIX: 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup white rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch. Mix together in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. You will use about 3/4 cup of this mix.
25 grams cornstarch (about 1/8 cup)
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon tomato paste
+ 1 extra egg yolk for brushing on shortbread before baking
+ extra sea salt for sprinkling on shortbread before baking
1. Heat oven to 350F.
2. Grease 2 baking sheets with vegetable oil spray, vegan margarine or coconut oil.
3. In a stand mixer, mix together the margarine with the egg yolks. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the gluten free flour mix, cornstarch, sea salt, thyme and xanthan gum.
4. Add in the flour mixture and the tomato paste. Mix on medium speed until the mixture just comes together. Then, add in the tomato paste and mix.
5. Using a rubber spatula, scrape dough out onto a board sprinkled with gluten free flour and knead to combine the dough thoroughly.
6. Roll to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out small shapes with cookie cutters. Place the shapes on the greased baking sheets, brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sea salt.
7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
These savory shortbread make a great addition to appetizers at a party or are also great served alongside soup or chili. Pass this on to a friend!