Friday, November 21, 2014

Traditional Shortbread

Knowing that the holidays are really just right around the corner, I purchased a couple new kinds of tea from Harney and Sons; Vanilla Comoro and English Breakfast. It's always nice to have something on hand for when company pops in for a visit. And if there's anything makes a cup of tea more delightful, it's a buttery, homemade cookie.

When the tea arrived in the mail, it was clear that the best thing to do was to make a batch of cookies to enjoy a cup with. I've been collecting cookie recipes to test for an annual cookie exchange I host each year and I was eager to bake something instead of just drooling over delcious photos.

Not wanting anything too complicated, I decided to make a classic butter shortbread. Basically butter, flour and sugar. How much more simple could it get?

I began by sifting one cup of powdered sugar.

I then creamed the powdered sugar with one cup of soft unsalted butter in my mixer with the paddle attachement. After about 10 minutes, I added a teaspoon of vanilla.

Next I sifted 2 cups of flour with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of baking powder.

I then added the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, and continued to mix it until it was well combined.

Once the dough started forming a ball in the mixing bowl, I emptied it out onto a sheet of parchment paper and made a ball.

Using the parchment paper, I rolled the ball out into a log shape. The parchment helps make a smooth, even log.

I then sliced the log into even slices of dough, roughly 1/2 inch thick.

I arranged them on a lined baking sheet and sprinkled them with raw sugar for added crunch and sweetness. I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Now, the recipe only called for 10 minutes, and warned not to over cook them. I prefer my shortbread a little drier and more crumbly however so next time I might leave them in for a few minutes longer. Just don't let them brown too much.

While they were baking, I lined a takeout box with parchment and took out some Christmas gift tags I had been working on the day before.

A little ribbon and twine made a perfect little package. I sent them to my Papa, who's favourite cookie is shortbread.

And then I enjoyed one with a cup of tea.

The original recipe was found here, I just altered it slighty to my personal taste.

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Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria