Saturday, December 20, 2008

Authentic Shortbread

The recipe is one my grandmother makes and is from an old English Cookbook that she brought to the states with her. Here are the ingredients for real shortbread, but the key really is in the baking. Long and slow. America is a wonderful country, but they rush their shortbread. And that just won't do.

1/2 lbs. flour (1 cup)
1/4 lbs. butter (1/2 cup)
2 oz. sugar (1/4 cup)

Beat sugar and butter to cream. Using a pastry blender or knives, cut flour in until mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Press into a 7" tin and bake for 50 minutes at 3oo degrees. I've adjusted the oven temperature slightly from what my grandmother uses, but she likes her shortbread more brown. She bakes it at 325 degrees, but I don't know if she cooks it quite as long. The lower temperature gives you good flavor and a lovely light color. While still warm, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and cut. Cool in tin (pan). Store cookies in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

We usually triple or quadruple the recipe and cook in a large pan with the crumb mixture pressed to about 1/2" thick.

For my brother's wedding I pressed the crumb mixture into mini muffin cups and adjusted the baking time accordingly. It made for a nice presentation on the tea buffet. A little time consuming though, so fortunately my sisters finished up the project.

These cookies are perfect for a four o'clock cuppa'.