I recently answered a pen pal’s letter (yeah, I am still stuck in the 1850s or something, writing letters longhand and using the beleaguered postal services of the world to deliver these missives, among other deliveries. People the world over can attest to my love for mailing packages of books, cookies and various other nonsense. Postal employees also love me for these reasons). In her letter, she asked if I could recommend a good shortbread recipe because she is addicted to shortbread but finds that buying store-bought is quite expensive (she lives in Austria and it’s an import there).
It struck me as sort of funny because nothing could be simpler than shortbread. I have my standard, go-to recipe, which I will include below, but also recently had the pleasure of trying my friend Jane’s recipe, which uses brown sugar instead of powdered/confectioner’s sugar. I decided I would send my friend (and post here) both recipes because both are excellent, and each is used differently. I was surprised to find that, given how simple and basic shortbread is, that I had never posted about it in this blog before!
Let me note as well that this is my first foray into including metric measurements with recipes. Over time, I hope to go back and add the correct conversions to older recipes.
I will be making both types of shortbread in the coming week or so and hope to return with some photos of the results.
First recipe up is my friend Jane’s recipe, which is quite good and meant for rolling out and cutting into shapes:
250g brown sugar (dark or light fine, she uses dark mostly)
700g + of flour (she mixes in about 500g, then keeps adding more while kneading until appropriate consistency is achieved)
Preheat oven 160°C
Cream butter & sugar.
Add most of the flour, mix well.
Turn out onto board and knead until smooth (5 mins) adding flour until
no longer too sticky to roll
Roll out and cut as desired. Bake 20 mins
She also adds raspberry jam before baking. She uses a finger to make a
little indentation then scrapes a tiny bit of jam into the indent. She makes drizzling
icing using half a cup of powdered/confectioner’s sugar, half teaspoon almond essence, then a
teaspoon or so of milk.
The next recipe is mine. I like to press mine into a shortbread mold or round baking pan and then slice it when it is done. It has a slightly lighter texture (and feels like it just melts in your mouth):
4 cups flour (approx 512g)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar (156g)
1 teaspoon baking powder (4 g)
1/4 teaspoon salt (1.4g)
2 cups butter (452g)
Knead all ingredients together. Press into ungreased pans (or molds) and prick the top with a fork. Bake 45 minutes in oven preheated to 160C/325F