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Christmas Recipes

My Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy free/vegan option)

My gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths recipe is finally on the blog! I say ‘finally’, as it’s been a little while since I first posted a sneak preview over on Instagram. Sorry it took so long!

Yep, my gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths recipe is here! It’s simple and easy, but I hope you’ll agree that it has that festive ‘wow-factor’ that makes you want to put on Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ on repeat. Ok, let me just press play on my Apple music…

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy free option)

Now I’ve got a suitable soundtrack, I guess it’s time to tell you what my little wreaths are all about!

Each biscuit is a buttery, chunky shortbread biscuit, packed with chunky milk chocolate chips.

Then, they’re coated in milk chocolate and topped with little gold/bronze crunchy bits. Every bite is buttery, with tons of melty chocolate and a welcome crunch from the sprinkles to set it all off.

And visually, I think that they make great little edible Christmas wreaths, don’t you think?

Oh and don’t think that all the ‘buttery’ and ‘milk’ talk means that you’ll miss out if you’re dairy free – it’s very, very simple to make this dairy free too!

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy free option)

But I can’t take all the credit for these… I was in Sainsburys and I saw biscuits that look EXACTLY like these. But sadly… they weren’t gluten free.

So I did what I always do when I can’t eat something… I got my apron on and got my bake on! And I’m really pleased with how my gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths recipe turned out.

I’ve made a few festive recipes that are a little more challenging over the years – like my gluten free Christmas yule log. But trust me, this one is the easiest of them all, so get your Christmas soundtrack on and get baking!

Here’s your shopping list:

Gluten free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe Ingredients

  • 250g butter (or dairy free alternative – ideally a hard baking block like Stork), softened
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 360g gluten free plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 150g milk chocolate chips (dairy free if necessary)
  • 200g milk chocolate (dairy free if necessary)
  • Bronze and Gold Crunch Sprinkles (I got mine from Tescos. You could use any decorations you like though)

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy free option)

Here’s some tips/FAQs for creating the perfect gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths…

Can I make this recipe gluten free?

It is gluten free!

Can I make this recipe dairy free?

Of course you can! For starters, you need to use are dairy free chocolate chips in the shortbread – I’d recommend using these: Moo Free Chocolate Chips.

Also, you’ll need to use a hard margarine instead of butter – I used a block of Stork.

And then you’ll need to dip your biscuits into dairy free melted chocolate too – I’d recommend using NOMO. It’s amazing as far as dairy free choc goes according to Mark!

 All of these dairy free products are gluten free too obviously! This is one of those recipes that makes barely no difference whether it’s dairy free or not.

Can I make your gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths vegan?

Good news for you! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, that makes this entire recipe vegan too.

For once, there’s no eggs required!

Just be careful when it comes to the sprinkles as they can sometimes contain colouring that’s not vegan-friendly.

Is this recipe nut free?

Yep, this is a nut-free recipe. But of course, make sure you check the ingredients label on all the products you use to bake these biscuits.

Even if the products don’t contain nuts, they may have a ‘may contain nuts’ warning due to being produced in a factory that handles nuts.

You can never be too careful so always read the labels on everything first!

Can I make your gluten free shortbread dough in a food processor or standing mixer?

Of course you can and to be honest – a standing mixer would probably make your life much easier easier! I use a standing mixer to make this but an electric hand whisk would work too.

(here’s a link to the electric whisk I often use)

I’ve never actually tried to make this in a food processor either, but just make sure that the mixture is really well combined and that you scrape the sides down occasionally too. The same goes for a standing mixer.

You can of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned wooden spoon will do. Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent and might not bake properly.

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy free option)

Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths?

Certainly not! As I mentioned in the last question, a little elbow grease means you definitely don’t need anything more than a bowl and a spatula/wooden spoon to make the dough.

You’ll probably need a microwave to melt the chocolate (or use a bain marie on the hob) of course.

You will obviously need a fridge also to chill the dough before rolling into balls – not sure if that constitutes being called ‘special equipment’ though!

Oh and don’t forget the biscuit cutters – I used these.

What size biscuit cutter should I use?

I used the biscuit cutter that was 7cm in diameter.

If you use a biscuit cutter smaller than this, then they’ll obviously they’ll cook quicker in the oven. If you use a bigger biscuit cutter, they’ll take longer to bake too, so bear that in mind!

For the holes in the middle, I simply used one of my piping nozzles to create a hole in the middle.

Do I need weighing scales to bake this recipe?

In short… yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any of my recipes without them. One of the worst things you can do in any baking recipe is alter the quantities by mistake or on purpose.

Why? Well, you’re sort of just gambling with the recipe and praying that it turns out ok. And I’ve generally already done the hard work there for you!

A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities so I wouldn’t mess around with them unless you really know your stuff.

I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement.

What sprinkles should I use to bake your gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths recipe?

I used a mixture of gold crunch sprinkles and bronze crunch sprinkles from Tesco.

They’re gluten free and dairy free too, but not all sprinkles are so be careful. Always triple check the ingredients just to be safe!

I’m not sure if they’re vegan – they say they’re vegetarian – so make sure you use sprinkles that say ‘vegan’ on them if you need to.

Can I make this recipe without xanthan gum?

You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten free baking.

Without gluten to bind the biscuit together, you can be left with a much looser texture which can be crumbly and easily fall apart. Shortbread is already a naturally crumbly biscuit, so xanthan gum is actually quite important in this recipe.

But what if you didn’t have any, or simply wanted to remove xanthan gum from the recipe entirely?

If you don’t have any, wait until you have some! I definitely wouldn’t recommend removing xanthan gum from the recipe if you can really avoid doing so. I understand if you struggle to tolerate it for some reason, but otherwise, it’s a vital ingredient not to be missed.

Some people have asked if they can use psyllium husk powder instead of xanthan gum and you could definitely give it a try in this recipe – though I don’t recommend using it for cakes.

So to sum up – definitely use xanthan gum if you can, otherwise it can make the biscuits a little too crumbly. A little crumble in shortbread is nice, but not if it falls apart when you bite it!

Can I bake your gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths with less sugar?

I can definitely understand the need to reduce sugar in our foods, but this is one of the recipes where I wouldn’t advise it at all!

Of course, the sugar isn’t just for sweetness – it’s integral to the structure of biscuits once baked.

Since there’s only 3 main ingredients in my shortbread – flour, butter, sugar – it’d be pretty drastic to remove one of them entirely or even just alter the proportions. The sugar helps to provide a lovely, crisp exterior and a lovely snap to each biscuit, so remove/reduce at your own risk!

How long can I keep these biscuits for?

I’ve kept my gluten free shortbread for around a week and they still taste as good as they day they were made. Obviously store them in an air-tight container too.

When they lose their snap and start to get a bit soft, they’re probably getting past their best.

Can I freeze your gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths?

Of course! I’ve frozen them for up to a month and after allowing them to fully thaw, you’d can enjoy them once they reach room temp.

Whilst you can freeze the biscuits after baking, ideally, you’d freeze the shortbread dough after step 4.

Then you can continue from the step 5 (rolling out the dough, cutting, chilling, baking etc) after allowing the dough to fully defrost in the fridge and then allowing to get to room temperature.

Doing so will ensure the biscuits are as fresh as possible, whilst still reducing the amount you waste overall.

How can I tell when my gluten free shortbread is done?

They should look nice and golden with slightly bronzed edges, but not actually ‘browned’ in any way.

Just aim for how mine look in the photos if you can – the subtle golden edge means they’re done!

I often open the oven 5-10 minutes before the end to check on them as opening the oven mid-bake doesn’t affect these really.

So if you take them out early – no bother! Simply pop them back in until you’re happy with the colour.

Make sure you leave them to cool before sampling them!!

Troubleshooting

My gluten free shortbread came out really dark and crisp. What happened?

Sounds like they were over-baked.

So either your oven is way too hot or you’re leaving them in too long… OR you rolled your dough too thin. Remember, we want 1cm thick dough when rolling it out!

If your dough shapes are too thin, they’ll cook in next to no time.

I use this amazing rolling pin that allows you specify how thick you want your dough. That way, you can guarantee the thickness of what you’re rolling out every time!

My gluten free shortbread spread too much in the oven and lost their shape!

You might not have allowed enough time for the dough shapes to chill in the fridge.

This is a really important stage in the recipe as it the whole point is to chill the shapes so they won’t spread when you place them into the hot oven.

If the dough shapes are warm before they go in the oven, they’ll spread a lot quicker and result in flatter shortbread that will probably lose definition in their shape.

My shortbread dough was really dry and crumbly when I tried to roll it out… what did I do wrong?

That likely means you didn’t mix the dough for long enough!

You need to mix it until the shortbread dough comes together to be really soft, smooth and consistent (no lumps of butter etc). If you can still see any trace of flour in the mixture, then keep on mixing until it’s all combined.

If the dough isn’t well-combined, it’ll likely be too dry to roll out successfully.

Also, if your dough is cold for some reason (because you froze it, or you didn’t use softened, room temp butter for example) the dough will be more crumbly and harder to roll until it reaches room temp.

My shortbread wasn’t golden in the cooking time allowed. What should I do?

Either your oven isn’t as hot as mine, or you might have rolled your dough to be too thick. Remember that we want to roll out our dough to be 1cm thick – if it’s thicker than that, it’ll take longer to bake.

Again, I use this amazing rolling pin that allows you specify how thick you want your dough. That way, you can guarantee the thickness of what you’re rolling out every time!

Even if they are too thick, or just plain under-baked, you can always pop them back in until the sides are a little more golden.

Some of my shortbread shapes browned too much but some weren’t cooked enough, what happened?

That likely means that the dough shapes you cut out weren’t a consistent thickness.

If some are too thin, they’ll cook quicker. If others are too thick, they’ll take longer.

Rolling out your dough to be consistently 1cm thick means everything will bake at the same speed and all be done at the same time.

When I was cutting my shortbread shapes, I sometimes hit a chocolate chip and it ruined my neat shape! What should I do?

Just make sure your chocolate chips haven’t been in the fridge. Why?

If they’re at room temp, you can often slice right through the chocolate chips without problems.

That means you’ll still be able to get a nice, neat cut even if you hit a chocolate chip whilst doing so. Which is pretty likely!

If you can’t plough through them, just give it a bit of welly when you press down with each cutter and it’ll usually push the problem choc chip out of the way.

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy free option)

Can I print your gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths recipe?

Of course! Just hit the print button located on the recipe below 👇🏻 (otherwise you might end up printing this entire post which would probably make your printer go into early retirement)

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy/vegan free option)

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy/vegan free option)

My gluten free chocolate shortbread wreaths are super easy to make and perfect for Christmas! You can even make them dairy free if you fancy too.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g butter (or dairy free alternative - ideally a hard baking block like Stork), softened
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 360g gluten free plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 150g milk chocolate chips (dairy free if necessary)
  • 200g milk chocolate (dairy free if necessary)
  • Bronze and Gold Crunch Sprinkles (I got mine from Tescos. You could use any decorations you like though)

Instructions

    1. Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C. Prepare a large baking sheet with some parchment paper.
    2. Beat together your softened butter and sugar until smooth. I use my Kitchen Aid standing mixer for this but you could also use a hand whisk.
    3. Add in flour and xanthan gum to your mix until it comes together.
    4. Add in your chocolate chips and mix in evenly.
    5. Lightly flour a surface and roll out your dough to 1 cm thick. I tend to do this in sections, not all at once. Use a crimped cutter (cm) to cut out the wreath shape and a small circular cutter to cut out the middle (I just used the bottom of a piping nozzle). Lift each of your wreaths gently onto the baking tray. Keep doing this until you've used up all your dough - you might need a couple of large baking sheets.
    6. Place your baking sheet into the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. Chilling the dough will reduce the likelihood of any spreading in the oven.
    7. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until they start to turn slightly golden.
    8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a while on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
    9. Melt your chocolate in a bowl and then allow to cool for a few minutes.
    10. Take each shortbread wreath and dip them into the chocolate on the top side, push it in so it covers the edges too. Sprinkle your decorations on top of the melted chocolate however you like! Place back on a backing sheet as they need to set in the fridge.
    11. Leave to set in the fridge and then they're ready to eat! Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 118mg Carbohydrates: 37g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 18g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
Nutrition info is estimated.
Thanks for reading how to make my gluten chocolate shortbread wreaths recipe! If you make them, I’d love to see how they turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your bakes and tag me on Instagram!

Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me Instagram and leaving me a comment!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!

Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Wreaths Recipe (dairy free option)

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