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More Food Porn Friday: Scottish Shortbread from the CRACKER JAX Kitchen

24 Dec

Scottish Shortbread has always been one of my guilty pleasures. So I decided to make some tonight for the very first time!

Never mind that the recipe I’m using was written by hand on one of  those index cards more than twenty years ago. I saved it and put it to good use tonight. Scottish Shortbread is so very rich, but so very simple at the same time.  These cookies would also surely pass muster with Paula Deen for all the butter they contain.

Anyone who owns a pastry cutter has might have made these before. It’s not required, but does help if you have a chance to pick one up. This is what they look like. For shortbread, it’s used to “cut in” the butter. I used a large meat serving fork from my drawer that took just a bit longer.

First, preheat the oven t0 300 degrees.

Gathering your ingredients is easy. There are just three ingredients. 

1  1/4 cups      all-purpose flour

3 Tbls               sugar

1/2 cup             butter (one stick) 

Leave the butter out a little while. You don’t want it soft, but you also don’t want it hard as a rock. I also cut my butter up into small pieces to make it easier to cut in.

Mix all incredients in a large bowl and cut in the butter to the mix. This means simply cutting and mashing it with the other ingredients. When finished the mix sure look like small crumbs.

Form a ball with the mixture and knead until it is smooth.

I like to put my dough in the refrigerator for about ten minutes to chill because it makes it a lot easier to work with afterward.

Then, on a lightly-floured surface, pat dough flat to about 1/2 inch thick.  You can cut strips, use cookie cutters or do as I did and used the old standby, a very small-mouthed glass. If you cut strips, cut about 2″ X 1″. Should make about 24 cookies.

Place on an the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Cookies should be a very light color with bottoms slightly browned.

To Frost or Not to Frost

I thought I’d add some chocolate to the tops of my cookies to make them even better. Everything is better with chocolate on it, right? Not necessarily. After frosting a number of cookies, I tried one and realized that they are actually better without the chocolate.

If you still want to add it, here’s an easy process.

Empty a small bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute. The chips will still look whole, but take a spatula and mix them up quickly immediately. Do not put them back in the microwave because it will dry out the chocolate and there is no saving it. Just mix fast, fast, fast until it’s all melted.

I made three batches of shortbread, so minus all the cookies I ate while baking, here’s what’s left for my family.

 

 

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