Scotland: Shortbread

Dear Scotland,

I would like to thank you for creating Shortbread. Not only is it full of understated flaky-crumbly-goodness, but you've legitimized eating a big hunk of pastry crust by calling it a cookie.

I would like to join your ranks, if it's okay by you. I'm grabbing my kilt and bagpipes and coming over.


P.S. No haggis for me, though, thanks. There's something about minced lung that....well...makes me want to vomit. :) See you soon, Scotland! Mwah!

Sweet Scottish Shortbread (A combination of this recipe and this recipe)
-1 cup unsalted butter
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-2 1/4 cup flour (divided)
-1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Grease your baking tray. This recipe makes a roughly 8" square, so you can either put it in part of a low-sided baking sheet or a 8x8" cake pan...or whatever you have on hand.

3. Sift 1 1/2 cups of flour and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Place slightly softened butter (NOT melted or gooey at all) in a medium mixing bowl. Mash with a fork until it's soft and creamy with no lumps. If it gets warm to the point of being liquidy, put it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, until it firms up a bit.

5. Add sugar and mix quickly with the fork until combined.

6. Add the salted flour a very little bit at a time, mixing with the fork. Combine well, mixing quickly until a dough forms.

7. Using your last 3/4 cup flour (about 1/4 cup at a time), flour your counter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, reflouring as necessary, to create a soft dough that's not sticky. Don't let the dough get too warm from your hands. If it gets warm, put it in the fridge for a few minutes.

8. Pat with your hands or roll the dough out to the shape & size of your baking tray. The final product should be 1/2" thick. If you happen to have a baking sheet with sides, it may happen that the sides are 1/2" high--turns out that I had one, and it was very convenient.

9. Prick all over with a fork or toothpick--whether you make uniform holes or fun designs is up to you. :) Bake until golden-brown ~30-45 minutes. Once they come out of the oven, cut while still warm. Leave the pieces together until they have cooled before serving.

Shortbread will make you smile.

-Makes about 18-20 small squares. The recipe easily doubles to fit on a larger baking sheet or 13x9 pan.

Verdict: I think my statement at the top of this entry pretty well said everything. I think that you could just not ask for a simpler recipe--in all ways. The flavors are very delicate, and (again), understated. It is SO easy to make. I'd heard that shortbread was temperamental, but this recipe couldn't be any easier to follow....or any harder to screw up, really. So, whip this up in an hour and settle in with a cuppa. :)

Did I mention that this would make for a delightful holiday gift? No? Well, it would. See?


Dimah said...

These look fabulous!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

YUM! Brown sugar and butter - 'nuff said! Beautiful shortbread, I love the cute designs you put in them, adorable!

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

Oh this does look good! Wish I had some right now!

Karen said...

Yum...your homemade shortbread looks wonderful. Love the simplicity of the recipe for such a tasty result!

Sprinkled with Flour said...

Your shortbread looks delicious! I grew up in Wales, not far from Scotland, so I can appreciate a good shortbread recipe. Thanks for sharing:)

Eva said...

These are too cute! And they sound delicious to boot! I always tend to splurge on the imported scottish shortbreads at my grocery store (those cookies are TOO good) but now I will be able to make them myself :D Thanks for sharing and congrats on the Top 9!

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