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Old 11-29-2017, 08:25 PM   #1
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Shortbread techniques

For years I've made the same shortbread recipe varying the flavors in it by changing up the spice or adding a little dried fruit or nuts.

I've noticed that many recipes call for powdered sugar instead of the usual granulated. Why is this?

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Old 11-29-2017, 09:32 PM   #2
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I have two different shortbread recipes. One calls for brown sugar and the other, granulated.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:29 PM   #3
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Shortbread often has no liquids added to the dough except for the little bit that is in the butter. Confectioners sugar will dissolve more easily in the butter while granulated sugar may not. I like using powdered sugar because it is the texture of the flour and corn starch and I like the consistency of the shortbread to be rich crumbly, and almost chalky. When I make shortbread I just make a ball of shortbread, then press it flat onto the cookie sheet. I make them of consistent size and then only barely brown them on the edges. They are a very fragile cookie. They are my absolute favorite cookies. I'll send you my address. <wink>
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:19 AM   #4
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Every time I hear something about shortbread, I always think of the old earworm : https://youtu.be/4v5rsEa9vUI

BTW, if you listen to the lyrics, it's incredible about the children in bed, "one mos' dead".

How far we have come.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:53 PM   #5
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My favourite uses sifted xxx sugar and some corn starch.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:31 AM   #6
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Apparently we make better shortbread with powdered sugar than Lee Drummond or Ina Gartens. Let's keep it our secret.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddri...klC?li=BBnb7Kw

Last year I made shortbread and added finely chopped apricots and they were OH so subtle and delicious, everyone raved.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:42 AM   #7
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Mom loved shortbread cookies. I like to make Texas Sandies, a shortbread cookie with pecans and an egg yolk added to the dough.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:58 PM   #8
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The Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookie recipe
that I have calls for granulated sugar.
Then the dough is shaped into
a rectangular log, wrapped in plastic wrap for a
sit in the `fridge and then sliced into about 1/4
inch cookies and baked off.
BUT WAIT!
Then you dip them in melted Chocolate to guild
that lily a bit farther, MMM!
They have a nice, not-too-hard-not-too-soft texture,
but a good crunch and melt in your mouth appeal.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Mac Nut Shortbread Cookies.jpg
Views:	257
Size:	117.0 KB
ID:	28624

I have a batch sitting in the deep freeze to
slice`n bake for my Mother when she gets here
this weekend! Part of her birthday gift/celebration.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
The Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookie recipe
that I have calls for granulated sugar.
Then the dough is shaped into
a rectangular log, wrapped in plastic wrap for a
sit in the `fridge and then sliced into about 1/4
inch cookies and baked off.
BUT WAIT!
Then you dip them in melted Chocolate to guild
that lily a bit farther, MMM!
They have a nice, not-too-hard-not-too-soft texture,
but a good crunch and melt in your mouth appeal.

Attachment 28624

I have a batch sitting in the deep freeze to
slice`n bake for my Mother when she gets here
this weekend! Part of her birthday gift/celebration.
Look wonderful. Have you posted the recipe?
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:24 PM   #10
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Just looked at this thread. I LOVE shortbread cookies and kgirl, you had me at macadamia nuts - would love the recipe as well!

Bucky....my grammy used to sing me that song way back in the day when I was little and helped her make shortbread cookies. it was fun and OK back then and yes....times have sure changed!
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:49 PM   #11
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A friend of mine makes this recipe off the Argo corn starch box, only she uses 1/2 reg sugar and 1/2 powdered sugar. Oh, and Irish butter. Basic White Sugar Shortbread Cookies, Karo Syrup
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
Look wonderful. Have you posted the recipe?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
Just looked at this thread. I LOVE shortbread cookies and kgirl, you had me at macadamia nuts - would love the recipe as well!

Bucky....my grammy used to sing me that song way back in the day when I was little and helped her make shortbread cookies. it was fun and OK back then and yes....times have sure changed!

OKAY!
SO, here you gals go!


Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies For Mom
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
OKAY!
SO, here you gals go!


Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies For Mom
Thank you kgirl.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:15 PM   #14
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so.. since there weren't a bunch of answers to my initial question, I hit the books and learned about the use of corn starch, powdered sugar and more... it's about gluten control.

Gluten makes shortbread tough but SOME gluten is needed to make the cookies hang together. Introducing corn starch or other gluten free flour keeps cookies firm but with that sandy, melt in your mouth feel. Powdered sugar has corn starch in it to prevent caking.

So... the take away here is that you don't need powdered sugar - you need cornstarch or corn flour or even rice flour. Proportions matter. I spent the weekend making short bread - I went though 9 lbs of butter and finally got it right - perfect every time short bread. I settled on corn flour because it adds a nice nutty flavor. Sadly my friends are all going to get test bake shortbread now whether they want it or not... I am drowning in shortbread.


basic recipe:
Oven 325

1 C butter
1/2 C sugar (granulated)
2 C AP Flour
1/2 C Corn Flour

pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon
few drops of almond extract
few drops of vanilla

A little water to bind

other additions - optional
Lemon zest
ground cardomon
chopped dried cranberries
chopped candied ginger
ground almonds
orange zest


Procedure - in mixer:
  1. Cream butter sugar and extracts, zest, etc. Turn off mixer.
  2. Add all flour at once and turn mixer of low, gradually increasing speed to blend to a crumbly consistency.
  3. With mixer still on, slowly add ice water by teaspoonfuls until mixture just begins to hang together. keep it dry.
  4. Turn out onto floured board, roll to about 1/4 inch thick or as desired and cut into shapes.
Bake on ungreased sheet for about 25 mins until cooked but not brown. Sprinkle with a little sugar while still hot if desired.

Here's a pic - one of these is just plain with some ground cardamon and lemon zest (my preferred flavor) and the other has chopped cranberry and ginger. I used a little tartlet pan as a cutter.

Click image for larger version

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Old 12-11-2017, 01:36 PM   #15
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Beautiful! And you tested recipes for 9 times! What a woman you are. Thank you for sharing all that!
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
Beautiful! And you tested recipes for 9 times! What a woman you are. Thank you for sharing all that!
I actually tried all sorts of things including:

Powdered sugar
AP flour and corn starch
AP flour and rice flour
AP flour and semolina
I ended up with Corn flour because the texture was perfect AND the flavor was deeper.

I'm not a fan of powdered sugar - it's messy to use, more costly and frankly the flavor was flat.

and... 9 lbs of butter is 18 batches ;)
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:48 PM   #17
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I actually tried all sorts of things including:

Powdered sugar
AP flour and corn starch
AP flour and rice flour
AP flour and semolina
I ended up with Corn flour because the texture was perfect AND the flavor was deeper.

I'm not a fan of powdered sugar - it's messy to use, more costly and frankly the flavor was flat.

and... 9 lbs of butter is 18 batches ;)
OOhhhh yeah, 18 batches! That is twice the amazing!
What did you think of the texture of the rice flour with the AP flour? How about the taste?
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:09 PM   #18
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The texture was fine with rice flour - actually the texture was fine with cornstarch, rice flour and cornflour. All the same. The corn flour just tasted a little better.

Semolina was a fail - noticeably gritty.

With the 3 mentioned above, cookies had that nice gentle snap when you bit in, but then were tender and a little sandy (bit not too sandy or gritty).
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:27 PM   #19
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The texture was fine with rice flour - actually the texture was fine with cornstarch, rice flour and cornflour. All the same. The corn flour just tasted a little better.

Semolina was a fail - noticeably gritty.

With the 3 mentioned above, cookies had that nice gentle snap when you bit in, but then were tender and a little sandy (bit not too sandy or gritty).
Thank you for telling me that. I have another question if you don't mind. How does the cornstarch differ from corn flour? Color, fineness of milling, taste? If it does.
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:47 PM   #20
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Thank you for telling me that. I have another question if you don't mind. How does the cornstarch differ from corn flour? Color, fineness of milling, taste? If it does.
Corn flour is yellow (although I understand white is available) and fairly fine but not quite as fine as corn starch. It has a slight corn flavor that turns a little nutty when baked.

Corn flour is made from the whole Kernal but corn starch is made from the endosperm of the kernel.


I understand that in the UK terms for these two products may be confused.,


I used this: https://www.bobsredmill.com/corn-flour.html
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