Friday, 15 June 2012

Short Bread and Other Things



I begin my blog with an entry about baking. Baking is certainly not my favourite household activity, but it is a necessary one. Husbands like food, particularly snacks and sweet treats. I like it too, but its effects on the figure are not always desirable. I've been thinking about baking shortbread for a couple days now and have finally found a simple recipe that uses standard pantry ingredients. Below is the recipe from taste.com with my alterations in the method.

My Shortbread.

Makes

Lots!!

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups Plain Flour
  • 1/2 cup cornflour

  • Basic topping
  • 1 eggwhite, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Method

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until pale. (My beaters had a real workout here. Perhaps the butter should have been much softer?) Add flour and cornflour. Stir to combine. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead gently until smooth.
  3. Divide mixture in thirds. Gently press each third into a long rectangle on baking tray. The dough should be about 1.5cm thick. (If you want, add some slivered almonds into the tops of the shortbread dough.)
  4. Use a knife to mark each rectangle into even finger size portions (don't cut right through). Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  5. Make topping. Brush each shortbread round with eggwhite. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely on trays. Use a sharp knife to cut right through markings. Serve.

The recipe turned out beautifully. I added some slivered almonds to some of my shortbread as an experiment. In future I might add some white chocolate chips or chopped macadamia nuts into the dough mix for a bit of variation. They are delightfully buttery and my husband has given his approval. I'll definitely be adding this recipe to my standard baking repertoire.

Short Bread - the perfect tea tray item.

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