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Old 12-20-2004, 04:31 PM   #11
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Ishbel's method has definitely improved my standard shortbread recipe. Using the KA to cut in the butter at the end instead of creaming with sugar first is also a lot easier. The butter came straight out of the fridge. Didn't have to wait for it to come to room temp so it could be creamed.
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Old 12-21-2004, 05:14 PM   #12
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I love shortbread, I like it with ground rice, a bit coarser than rice flour. And Audeo, you are very right, it must be real butter, no margerine (evil stuff). I should think you could powder the rice in a food processor until it is very fine. I will give it a try and report back, if i have time before Christmas.
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:38 PM   #13
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The recipe I'm using:

Mix together:

0.6 lbs. Sugar
1.3 lbs. All Purpose Flour

Add in:

1 lb. Cold Butter, cut into small cubes

Using the paddle in a Kitchen Aid mixer, mix on lowest speed until butter is cut into flour/sugar mix. Dough will be crumbly, like dry pie dough.

Spread evenly in cookie pan. Leave the top crumbly looking.

Bake at 300 degrees F. for 40 minutes or until light brown. Cut into bars and cool on wire racks.

Using the above method yields a delicately crisp and light shortbread cookie. The top of the cookie looks rough and rustic. This seems to aid in the removal of moisture during the baking process. If you like a smooth top, be sure to generously dock the top with a fork.

As with all good shortbread cookies, store them in an airtight metal or glass container. Cookies will taste even better in a month.

BTW, I use good old salted butter. If you use unsalted, the cookies will be BLAND if you don't add salt. How much salt? I don't know. You'll have to figure it out yourself since I always use salted butter for these cookies.
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:19 AM   #14
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I use salted butter for everything. This has been the topic of a number of debates on here! And you're absolutely right about using salted butter for shortbread. I'm sure its what the Scots do, heck they put salt on their oatmeal/porridge of a morning.
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:12 AM   #15
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Indeed we do! Anything on porridge EXCEPT for salt and a little milk is BOAK MAKING.... (makes one feel sick!)

I use unsalted butter only in recipes which stipulate using unsalted, otherwise I use salted butter.... I love the Bridel salted French butter, with the small grains of sea salt...

I think that the shortbread 'needs' the salt - not extra, just the saltiness of the salted butter!
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Old 12-23-2004, 07:58 AM   #16
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I forgot to incluce one essential step in the shortbread cookie recipe. I neglected to mention that once I place the dough on the cookie sheet, I let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you don't let it rest, the cookie comes out a bit tough. The resting period is essential for making a tender cookie when using All Purpose flour.
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Old 12-26-2004, 08:27 AM   #17
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I tried it. What a wonderfully rich and buttery flavor the recipe makes. Thanks Audio. And yes the shortbread was just a bit tough, but not overly so. Next batch will rest in the fridge. Then, I'm going to make it with Splenda. I wonder how it would be if made with whole rye flour. To my surprise, rye has a very mild flavor, as long as cataway seeds aren't added. It might allow me to use whole graind and not stray too much from the original flavor. But that's just a guess. I'll just have to experiment some.

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Old 12-26-2004, 03:18 PM   #18
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Goodweed, did you cream the butter and sugar or did you cut the cold butter in at the end?

BTW, if you don't want to rest the dough in the fridge, make it with pastry flour. If you don't have pastry flour, try mixing All Purpose with Cake Flour. About 50:50 works for me.

RE: Splenda. You know, I think it could work quite well. Let us know how it comes out.
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Old 12-26-2004, 10:22 PM   #19
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I creamed the butter. I'm sure that resting it will make it more tender. But then again, I made thumbprints in the dough before baking and they held their shape. Strawberry preserves filled the thumbprints after the shortbread cooled. It was very tasty, and the texture wasn't that tough.

I'll let you know the results of the next batch, with the Splenda.

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Old 01-01-2005, 07:03 PM   #20
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I blew it and it came out great. Audio's recipe, when followed to the letter, gives a crumbly, yet tender shortbread similar to 'Keebler' brand 'Pecan Sandies'. I used to love those cookies, still do but don't eat them anymore for obvious reasons (diabetic).

I went to make more shortbread for my wife (she loves the stuff) and accidently changed the recipe. I cooked at 375 for 15 minutes, then reduced the heat to 300 and realized my error. I cooked at 300 for 20 minutes and removed from the oven. The result was a soft shortbread, with little of the crispy texture found in the original. They were still very good, and easier for my wife to handle with her false-teeth. The flavor is identical. The texture is just softer.

So now you can make them whichever way you want. If you want to dunk them into a cold glass of milk, go with the crispy/tender shortbread. If you want to eat it with a bit of jam on top, go with the soft variety. The only difference is the amount of time at which temperature used to bake them. :D


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