Unfortunately my sister didn’t have a copy of her shortbread recipe with her when she was on this side of the pond. Of course she used a real Scottish recipe. I played with a mixture of ingredients until I had a dough that I liked, similar to my sugar cookie, but much less sugar. No egg in the dough, so it’s safe to sample uncooked bits. This is what I came up with…
Shortbread & Tea
2 c. flour, 1 c. butter softened, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp. fresh ground sea salt, finely chopped dark chocolate (optional for chocolate dipped)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Cream together butter, sugar and extract. In separate bowl combine flour and salt. Stir flour into butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Chill dough for about an hour (it’ll help the flavors richer and make the dough more manageable). Press dough into pie dish or roll out on floured surface and use cookie cutters. Use prongs on fork to make designs on shortbread. Depending on thickness, bake for about 30 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. If you used a pie tin, cut shortbread into fantails before cooling. Serve at room temperature with hot tea.
For Chocolate Dipped Shortbread:
On the top of a double boiled, melt chocolate. Dip edges or bottoms of shortbread in chocolate and place on wax paper. Chill in fridge to harden chocolate. Remove shortbread from fridge and store in an airtight container.
*If you use salted butter, you can omit or cut back the sea salt.
*If you like your shortbread sweeter, add 1/8-1/4 c. more of sugar.
*As a gift or favor you can wrap a bunch of shortbread in a mug, with a box of tea bags.
Unfortunately my embosser in still packed in some unknown box, or I would have used it embellish my shortbread before baking. I used individual tart tins to make a smaller shortbread, which I cut in wedges to create fantails.
As the aroma of fresh-baked shortbread lingers through my home, I sit down for a moment to nibble a few shortbread fantails and sip on my earl grey tea. I just hope my sister approves my recipe.
What do you like to munch on with your tea?