17 August 2013

Short and Simple Recipe: Shortbread


I am still a morning java girl, but for an afternoon pick-me-up I reach for the teapot, not the cafetière. 

My preferred cup is jasmine green tea with honey or Earl Grey with a splash of milk. And nothing complements the two better than a freshly baked piece of shortbread. 



Baking shortbread is easy peasy usingonly three basic ingredients (butter, sugar, and flour). A perfect ratio of this trio yields the most heavenly crumbly biscuit suitable for any Mad Hatter.

A homemade biscuit far surpasses store bought super brand Walker and overpriced Harrods in its signature tin. Ready to bake?




Shortbread
Yields, about 2 dozen biscuits

THREE INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup (4oz) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup (2oz) granulated (caster) sugar,  plus extra to finish
  • 3/4 cup (6oz) plain white flour
METHOD

  1. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth (the longer the better). The mixture should be fluffy and pale yellow in color (almost white). About 5-7 minutes with a KitchenAid on medium-high to high speed.
  2. Fold in the flour at low speed until dough just comes together. *
  3. Place dough on baking/parchment paper and form into a log roll. Dough should be very flaky and sticky.
  4. Wrap dough in baking/parchment paper and refrigerate for at least one hour. If you wish to bake later, wrap tightly in cling film to prevent dough from drying out. NOTE: Dough may also be frozen. If freezing, double wrap baking/parchment paper in foil, twisting ends to seal tightly.
  5. Preheat oven to 325F (160C)
  6. Cut chilled dough into 1/2" width slices. If prefer smaller biscuits, halve the slices.
  7. Sprinkle with granulated sugar (or colored sprinkles).
  8. Place cookies on non-stick baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes (time varies with oven), or until pale golden-brown. 
  9. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack. Be careful when moving as biscuits very crumbly and easily break. Set aside to cool on wire rack. 
  10. Once cooled, store in airtight container to retain freshness.
TIPS

  • Use good quality unsalted butter
  • The dough may also be the base for chocolate chip cookies. * Stir in chocolate chips after flour has been folded into dough.

The next time you play host or need a bestseller at a bake sell, this is your winner. Simple. Flawless. Yum in every bite.


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