Ye new Scottish shortbread
Baking shortbread to give to the daycare ladies as a Christmas gift. I tried a couple variations, a mix of an old Scottish cookbook recipe I have, and a Saveur recipe. I tried one batch with cake flour and cornstarch, and another batch with rice flour and all purpose unbleached flour. I like the cake and cornstarch. The sweetness of the sugar came through. The texture was crumbly, which I like in a shortbread.
In any case, this is a good recipe if you like ’em really buttery and sweet, almost caramel in flavour. The key is, as with any butter cookie, not to overwork the dough. Just do it enough. And if it feels too crumbly, add more butter and sugar!
2 cups cake flour
1/4 cup rice or cornstarch
8 oz butter, on the cold side, in pieces.
10 Tablespoons of sugar
Mix the flours. Knead the butter and sugar with fingers or a fork, working quickly, so you don’t warm the butter too much. Maybe go outside without any mitts on, have a smoke and let your fingers turn blue, then go in and mix stuff. Work in the dry ingredients. Break them into six balls. Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet, the flatten the dough balls. Pat them down with your hands so the shortbread is about half and inch or less thick. It will spread out a little when cooking. Then take a fork and poke holes in the cookie. Use the fork to make a nice little design around the edges. Put them in the fridge to cool for an hour. Preheat the over to 300 degrees. Bake for half an hour or until the edges are nice and brown. Take out, cut the shortbread into slices and let cool. Pour a scotch and away ye go!