Shortbread is a celebration of simplicity—a mixture of butter, sugar, and flour that provides as much as a lot extra.
Shortbread was one of many first baking initiatives I ever tackled—at a good friend’s home in 4th grade beneath the extreme supervision of her mom. I don’t bear in mind a lot concerning the cookies however I do bear in mind considering they had been fairly primary. I imply the place had been the chocolate chips?
WHAT IS SHORTBREAD?
The “brief” a part of shortbread refers back to the lack of gluten growth on this cookie. Liquid prompts gluten, however as a result of there’s no liquid within the recipe (and loads of fats), the gluten doesn’t have an opportunity to turn into lengthy strands of protein that, in flip, give different baked items their chewy texture.
For the reason that gluten is saved “brief,” we get a young, crumbly cookie that melts within the mouth.
THE BEST BUTTER FOR SHORTBREAD
A be aware on butter—you can also make scrumptious shortbread utilizing no matter butter you usually purchase, however when you benefit from the taste of butter, I might counsel utilizing a premium European-style butter. My private favourite is Kerrygold.
European butters are usually denser (aka extra fats, much less water) than the standard grocery store butter, and make a richly coloured and flavored shortbread. I’ve examined this recipe utilizing each varieties with wonderful outcomes!
My solely be aware for European-style butter is to both you should definitely discover unsalted butter or scale back the salt within the recipe if utilizing salted butter.
DON’T OVERWORK THE DOUGH!
Regardless that we’re utilizing a brief dough, it’s attainable to overwork the dough, inflicting the cookies to turn out to be powerful. The easiest way to keep away from a tricky cookie is to not deal with the dough an excessive amount of.
A meals processor makes fast work of mixing the elements and prevents me from overworking the dough.
After I make cutout cookies, I attempt to reduce as many cookies as I can the primary time, so I solely regather the scraps and reroll the dough as soon as.
FUN WITH SHORTBREAD!
Shortbread’s simplicity lends it to countless variations. You may just about form it any method—roll it right into a log and slice, roll out and both reduce right into a grid or stamp out with cookie cutters, press it right into a spherical cake pan and rating into wedges earlier than baking, or when you’re fancy and have cookie molds you possibly can press the dough into these for an intricate design.
You can too taste shortbread with all types of elements, from tea leaves, matcha, dried fruit powders, nuts, and chocolate.
I personally love a nutty shortbread—walnut is my favourite! I like the slight bitterness of the walnuts with the candy, buttery shortbread. At any time when I add nuts and even chocolate, I grind (or grate) it pretty small. Within the case of a nutty shortbread, I intention for the flavour to be part of the dough, versus a mix-in. I additionally discover massive chunks disrupt the form of cut-outs.
HOW TO STORE SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Shortbread is a superb cookie-jar cookie, in that it retains effectively at room temperature for a number of days. I dwell within the desert, so I maintain them in a container to forestall them from drying out—nonetheless, once I lived in Michigan and Oregon, the humidity was the enemy. There, I discovered that storing cookies in a lidded container with a silica gel packet (I simply save these from different meals packages) retains the humidity at bay.
These cookies additionally freeze effectively, and I freeze them in a freezer bag that I’ve pressed as a lot air out of as attainable. They’ll maintain for a month or extra, however actually, we by no means have them round that lengthy.