I probably should apologise to the purists. This is not quite traditional Scottish Shortbread.
But I wont apologise for the amount of butter in the recipe. Everyone knows Shortbread gets its rich flavour from the butter. I’m not in the slightest bit motivated to try of a healthy version of shortbread. Look away if you’ve got an aversion to butter.
This is not the first Shortbread I’ve made during the lead up to Christmas. My first was a Lemon Shortbread. While we are die-hard lovers of citrus, the shortbread just didn’t do it for us.
But I had a plan. I’ve found a Lemon Truffle recipe that uses shortbread crumbs. Before I sent them all off to work I make sure I had enough crumbs to make the truffle recipe (I’m making those tomorrow).
After having spent a long weekend in Auckland I was feeling a bit antsy about not having baked over the weekend. I *might* have a problem.
I really wanted to make a shortbread like I remember as a child. I really haven’t made it as an adult.
As is usual, I Googled and looked at Pintrest. There were two recipes that caught my eye, and what I made is a bit of a combination of them both. And the results are that I can’t stop eating the stuff. I *might* have a problem.
This is the second batch I’ve made. I got a little confused last night and forgot I was halving the recipe and ended up with the full amount of sugars. Yes, it was sweet. Even for me. But again I think I’ll just crumb those shortbreads up and make a second batch of the Lemon Truffles. I hope they’ll live up to my expectations.
While shortbread doesn’t rise as such, (there’s no rising agents) it does expand ever so slightly. The gap you see in the above photo from my “slicing” (I don’t know how I ever lived without a pastry slicer) closed up during baking. And that meant that the shortbread didn’t quite crisp up as much as the little cut out shortbread I made.
The cut out shortbread has the perfect amount of crunch when you bite into it. They are so delicate and light. And unlike the batch I made last night, these had the right amount of sweetness. Of course that’s my opinion. I know that with my sweet tooth you could in fact cut the sugar back a bit. The reason (here comes the excuse) is that I couldn’t be bothered trying to measure a half of 1/3 cup of each of the sugars.
The dough isn’t sticky, though using the rolling pin (I didn’t want any impressions of finger prints to show) did catch just a little and pulled at the very top of the dough a couple of times. I didn’t want to introduce any more flour, so I lightly floured the rolling pin and that was enough to solve it for 3-4 rolls.
Scottish Shortbread – adapted from The Cookbook Chronicles
- 225gm butter, softened
- 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup castor sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornflour
- Heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- In a stand-mixer, combine the softened butter, brown sugar and castor sugar.
- Beat on medium speed for 5-6 minutes, until the butter becomes pale and white, and increases in volume.
- On low-speed, mix in the flour and cornflour.
- Put baking paper onto a baking tray. Pat the dough evenly, or you can roll it a little if you like the top to be perfectly flat.
- Use a fork to prick the dough if you’re looking for a more “traditional” look.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the edges just begin to colour.
- Turn the tray half way through the baking.
- Note 1: If you’re making cut-out shortbread then the baking time will be less. I baked mine for 12 minutes but ovens vary so just keep and eye.
- Note 2: You can cut the sugars back, it’s probably easier to measure out the 1/4 cup and then take say a tablespoon out of each.
I’m going to give some of this away to my Dad and Ruth along with the small Christmas Pudding I made (I’ll post the recipe soon). Of course there’s more than enough to keep some too, but at the rate at which I’m demolishing it, it wont last long!
- Shortbread, Two Ways (korenainthekitchen.com)
- Christmas Cookies of the World – Shortbread (acraftytraveler.com)
- Seriously… The Best Shortbread Ever! (kidsincowtown.wordpress.com)