Monday, December 21, 2009
It snowed here this weekend and I did some baking. One of the cookies I baked is a bit special to me and so I thought I'd share it here.
It has been passed to me by second cousin's daughter, Leann. Is that second cousin once removed? I can never remember such things but, she got it from my Great Aunt Janet. It is a Scottish recipe and tradition. My Mom does not make it (not a fan of the kneading) so she will get some for Christmas.I think it is delicious.
Here is the recipe for my shortbread. I hope you enjoy it!
1 pound (4 sticks) room temperature butter
1 cup superfine sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rice flour
Set butter on a counter top or flat surface. Sift superfine sugar over butter.Then sift 3 cups of all purpose flour over butter and sugar. Then sift the 1 cup rice flour over the butter, sugar and flour. Then sift the last cup of all purpose flour over everything.
Now with clean hands knead the dough. Bringing it together with your hands and using the base of your hand. Knead until everything is incorporated and it is smooth. You should be able to lift the dough without it breaking. (it might take a while)
After you are done with the kneading, pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Make the racks one apart.
Now split the dough into 2 halves and set one aside. Take one half and place on cookie sheet. First press it down with your hands to flaten it and once you have it bascially equal place Saran wrap over the top and use a cookie roller to smooth it out even more. Make sure it is the same thickness so it cooks evenly. Then take your pointer and thumb on your left hand and place them on the border of the dough and then with your middle finger on your right hand push between your pointer and thumb. It creates a crimp on the edge. Complete it around the whole edge. Then take a fork and lighly push it along the top of the shortbread, vertically. Making rows of little holes on top.
Repeat this to the other half that you set aside
Place first half in oven on top rack..
Place the last half in oven on bottom rack.
Time it for 15 minutes and then switch them to different racks.
Time for 20 minutes and then turn then around in oven.
TIme again for 20 minutes and just open oven.
(The reason we are doing this is becasue we need to let out the heat so the shortbread doesn't burn.)
You will know that it is done when you can smell it and also it has a lightly golden brown color. You want it to stay the light golden color. If you need to cook it longer do it in intervules of 10 minutes.
Immediatly after you take it out of the oven cut into squares, (cutting horizontally and vertically)
Shake some superfine sugar on top and place back in oven but make sure the oven is off. It is just to get some of the sugar to melt.
Then take out of oven and let it cool.
The best way to package shorbread is in tins or something of that sort. Always remember to layer it with saran wrap each layer so the shortbread does not break.
* usually the kneading takes about 15 minutes, it depends on how you knead it and what the temperature is. but trust me the first time i made it i thought i put too much flour in but i didn't. just keep working at it, lol. you have to tell me how you make out with it.