I love food. I guess I should say I have a love/hate relationship with food because I am constantly battling my weight. Unfortunately the love side of the relationship wins out all too often. When I started this blog just after I signed the contract with Champagne Books, I had no idea what to post. Clearly posting anything at all was better than silence so I exploited my love affair with food and posted a few recipes.
It has been almost a year and since those first few posts, I have not added any additional recipes. The thought occurred to me last night that perhaps posting the odd recipe from time to time would be a way to share with my readers. I had this profound idea yesterday when I was making my Grandmother’s Scottish Shortbread so what better way to start than by sharing the recipe?
¾ C butter softened
¾ C all purpose flour
¾ C self rising flour (I usually substitute ¾ C all purpose flour, ¾ tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp salt for this)
½ C sugar
¼ tsp almond extract (I generally use ¼ tsp vanilla instead, be careful you don’t want the vanilla to be overpowering)
Cream butter and sugar and mix in the flour and almond or vanilla extract). The mixture is very crumbly. At this point my grandmother patted it into a cake pan and baked it 325º until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. However, I roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. I put a piece of baking parchment on the counter, pat the dough into a disc and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap to roll it out. You don’t need to add flour (which can make the shortbread tough) if you do this because the butter content is so high that the dough doesn’t stick to the parchment or plastic. You can cut it into squares, wedges or use a cookie cutter. Place the pieces on a greased or parchment covered baking sheet (I think parchment works best). The dough will spread some as it bakes so leave plenty of room if you want pretty shapes. Bake at 325º until lightly browned, about 15 min. Watch very closely, the smaller your pieces, the less time they will need to bake and shortbread burns quickly.
As I made this yesterday, I was feeling creative so I minced about a teaspoon of fresh rosemary and added it to the creamed butter and sugar before adding the flour. I suppose you could add any flavoring such as other extracts, grated citrus rind or finely minced crystalized ginger.
I hope you enjoy this yummy Scottish standard. If any reader would like to be my guest and share a recipe, just let me know in a comment. I will send you an email with instructions. If any author who follows this blog would like to share a recipe (or other content) and publicize their work, I would be thrilled to host you.