I came up with this recipe when I attempted to make the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie mix, only the dough was so crumbly that I had visions of a miserable afternoon trying to roll out fussy dough to make cut-out cookies. So instead, I squished the crumbs together to make balls for the kids to press into and up the sides of mini-muffin pans. I filled the cookie cups with caramel, then the kids pressed in chocolate chips (and pecans in a few, which I definitely like). Part way through, I decided to get out our bag of Nestle’s red and green semisweet morsels to dress up a few for gift plates and parties. The tasty cookie bites look fancy on a plate, but were a whole lot easier than making cut-out cookies! If you don’t have a Bob’s Red Mill cookie mix, you can use the shortbread recipe from Living Without magazine, which I made last year and is very good. (Just cut the recipe in half or use the other half of the dough to make cut-out cookies.)
Shortbread Cookie Cups
1 package Bob’s Red Mill GF Shortbread Cookie Mix (or homemade dough)
3/4 c. unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
2-3 T. water (the recipe calls for 2, but I added 3 because it’s so crumbly)
Caramel ice cream topping
Semisweet chocolate chips
Chopped pecans, optional
Make the shortbread cookie dough according to package directions. (It will just be dough crumbles until you squish them together in your hand.) Grab a small handful of dough and squeeze it together in your hands until compacted, then roll it into a ball that’s about 1 1/4-in. The recipe makes exactly 36 balls.
Place dough balls in greased mini-muffin pans, then use your thumbs to press the dough down and up the sides until it reaches the top of the muffin cup. Using a 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon, scoop out 1/2 tsp. caramel topping (you may need to heat it a little) and pour into each cup. Press about 6 chocolate chips into the caramel, along with a few coarsely chopped pecan pieces, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then gently slide a knife around the edge of each cookie cup to loosen it and pop it out of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 3 dozen.