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Scottish Shortbread

in Diana's Recipe Book

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(total ratings: 4)
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Servings: Makes 27 bars
It is believed that shortbread originated in Scotland in the 16th century, sometime during the reign of Elizabeth I. Shortbread was traditionally made with fresh butter and ground oatmeal, but eventually fine flours were used. Small comfit candies and fine slices of candied orange and lemon peel were added when it was served at Christmas and New Year feasts. Sometimes a sprinkle of caraway seeds was customary.

A common first step in cookie recipes, creaming aerates the butter, resulting in cookies with a light, tender texture. To cream butter, beat it with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until it expands, lightens in color, and becomes soft and smooth. This should take 3 to 4 minutes with a mixer or longer by hand. Then add the sugar and beat until the grains are completely incorporated. Test by rubbing the mixture between your thumb and forefinger; it should feel smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once during creaming to blend the ingredients evenly.

1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz/226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tbsp. for sprinkling
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat an oven to 300°F/150°C.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and continue beating until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your thumb and finger. Beat in the vanilla.

Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until blended.

Using floured fingertips, press the dough evenly into an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the 1 tbsp. granulated sugar.

Bake the shortbread until the edges are golden, about 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately use a thin, sharp knife to cut the shortbread into strips 3 inches by 1 inch. Use a toothpick or the tines of a fork to decorate the shortbread with a pattern of dots. Let the strips cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before transferring them to the rack to cool completely.

Makes 27 bars.

Date: February 26, 2006


Reviewer: JoAnna
I love this recipe! The shortbread melts in your mouth!!

Reviewer: bob
great. they sound excellent.

Reviewer: nafesa
family & friends enjoyed it. regards.

Reviewer: rida tahir
Excellent and very delicious.


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