Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Little and Friday Shortbread





It was my aunt’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. She lives in Dunedin and is extremely hard to buy for, so I decided to send her some baking. I wanted something fairly robust, but also something fairly plain, as I know she doesn’t like rich things. I decided to make her shortbread, as I do have fond memories of her making mountains and mountains of shortbread when I was little, and as she is now wheelchair bound, I know that baking is something she doesn’t get to do.

Rather than use my standard recipe, I decided to try something new and was interested to make something from the Little and Friday cookbook (for those of you who havent been there, you must go!!! The food is the best cafĂ© food in Auckland!). Luckily there is a shortbread recipe in the book. It looked like a very traditional, short, crumbly shortbread which is exactly what I was after. The method was a little different than I usually use to make shortbread – whizzing the butter into the dry ingredients rather than creaming the butter and sugar and adding the flour. Rather than getting out the foodprocessor (is anyone else too lazy to wash their food processor?), I decided to pop the sugar and flour into the bowl with cubed, softened butter and then beat it with my handbeaters until crumbly, and then pull the mixture together. This worked, but I did find the dough quite crumbly (almost like there wasn’t enough butter in it – but that could have been the bit stuck to the beaters!) and hard to roll out. The biscuits, once baked, were nice and crisp though, and crumbly to the bite but not to the touch.

I used vanilla sugar rather than castor sugar and vanilla paste. This gave the biscuits a lovely little black fleck through them and an intense vanilla flavour. You can also add a tsp of vanilla paste if you don’t have any vanilla sugar on hand. I also cooked my shortbread at a lower temperature for longer (the original recipe said 15 minutes at 180) as I like shortbread which is pale in colour. You will also see in the photo that my shortbread isnt at all regular in shape – mostly because my ruler was downstairs and I was too lazy to run down to get it! Gosh, laziness seems to be quite a theme throughout this post!

Shortbread (adapted from Little and Friday)
1 ½ c flour
1/3 c vanilla caster sugar
150g butter (room temperature)
• Combine the dry ingredients, then beat the cubed butter into the dry ingredients with a hand beater until crumbly
• Bring the dough together with your hands
• Press the dough into a rough square and then slice it up into rectangles.
• Prick with a fork, sprinkle with caster sugar and bake in the oven at 165c for about 20-25 minutes until cooked.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Mmm! I love shortbread! And this one looks right up my street. I much prefer shortbread made with caster sugar rather than icing sugar. Shame the dough was a little crumbly and hard to work with though. Perhaps it would work well if formed into a log and cut into discs? That's how I do most of my shortbread (I'm lazy like that).
I was drolling over the Little and Friday cookbook the other day. Must visit!