Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Caroles Shortbread Step by Step

Originally published in December 2008 I'm reposting this recipe of Mum's (well technically it was Granny Battens) because a couple of people have asked for it.

It was always a favourite with friends & family, with many people requesting it if Mum offered to make them something for an occasion or event of some sort, often with the comment that no one else's shortbread had that same melt in the mouth texture or tasted as good.
The trick, according to Mum was truly in the texture of the dough & letting the bottom of the shortbread develop a light golden colour when cooking.

One of the things I miss is hearing Mum say "I have to make my Christmas shortbread this weekend"...& then reel off a list of all the people she was making some!

Let the baking begin!
Mum's 'basic' Shortbread recipe:
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 2 1/2 cups standard flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornflour

When I saw Mum squinting at the scales I suggested that she actually wear her glasses.... then quickly took a photo of her when everything was mixing up. She has her shortbread recipe down to an art - & is more concerned with the correct texture than the exact amounts of anything.

Cream the softened butter, & icing sugar until light & fluffy, almost white. (Pour gin & tonic each whilst these are creaming away merrily.)
Gradually add the flour & cornflour, sifted together . Now when Mum says gradually - she means gradually & letting it mix in well between each addition (this gives you time to throw together some crackers & camembert to have with the G&T).
You may or may not use all of the flour, the important thing is to stop adding when you have a soft dough
that has just reached the stage where it no longer sticks to your mixer or fingers, if you pick up a bit & pinch it between them.

Have a sip of your G&T, & empty the dough onto a lightly floured surface & form into a log.


Rolling, rolling, rolling until you have a whopper

Slice, not too thinly (Mum makes each slice about 10mm thick), & squeeze the log back into shape between each slice.
Place on a baking tray that is carefully being guarded by the G&T.

Place in an oven that has been preheated to 150 celsius - 300 fahrenheit for 30 minuteschecking from 20 minutes onwards - if the bottom is lightly golden, it's done! If the bottom is still pale it just doesn't taste the same.

Ahh the part I was waiting for, licking the mixer - a 40 something year old daughter who really only wanted to relive her childhood & see if licking the mixer was the best part of the whole process! Perhaps it's the second best thing - these days it seems that warm shortbread fresh out of the oven is the best part.

** This was my Grandmother's recipe & traditionally it was rolled flat, cut into squares, pinched at the corners & pricked a couple of times with the fork before being baked. I clearly recall 40 odd years ago watching Mum make it that way & it all sticking to the bench top & tearing when she went to put the spatula under it to remove it. With an exclamation of 'bother - there has got to be an easier way than this' she scooped up the lot rolled it into the log & started slicing , the method she uses today.

A link to the original post is below:

1 comment:

Rita'z R-tistic Ramblez said...

Thanks so much for sharing this Deb. xx