Dreamlike Shortbread

Also known as "my Grandma's shortbread," this is a rare family recipe passed down from my Polish grandmother. Lovely for a Christmas or birthday treat, or for an indulgent Saturday afternoon, with tea and an old movie.

Recipe courtesy Lorraine Pascale
Show: Simply Baking Episode: Very Entertaining
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 20 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 35 min
 
YIELD: 8 dainty pieces
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 1/4 sticks/4 1/2 oz/130g butter, softened
  • Generous 1/4 cup/2 1/2 oz/60g superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup/2oz/65g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp/2oz/65g cake flour
  • 7 tbsp/2 1/2 oz /60g rice flour
  • Pinch of salt
    • Equipment: 8in (20cm) loose-bottomed cake pan
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      Directions

      Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. Add the flours and salt, and stir well until the mixture is smooth and uniform. I find it easiest to keep pressing the mixture against the side of the bowl to mix it. Bring the mixture together and press into the pan, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. Crimp the edges by pressing with the tips of two fingers, or two knuckles, then mark into 8 pieces with a knife and prick each triangle three times with a fork. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).

      Remove the shortbread from the refrigerator and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is a very light golden color. Remove the shortbread from the oven and sprinkle over some superfine sugar. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing it from the pan and cooling on a cooling rack. Once cold, cut into 8 pieces and serve.

      Variation: Add a tablespoon of grated stem ginger or the finely grated zest of 1 lemon or lime.

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      5

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      • on January 24, 2013

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        i made this a few times and it taste really nice. I didnt use the rice flour in the cake so twice i topped with a extra 60g flour. the last time i made this i used 60g cornflour which was nice. i did add a little vanilla to give it flavour, but overall it was yummy!

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      • on January 14, 2012

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        This has been the absolute best short bread I have ever eaten, and sooooooo easy too!

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      • on December 27, 2011

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        This is the only shortbread recipe I'll make from now on. The perfect balance of ethereal texture and the rich density you'd expect of shortbread. Easy to make, but needs to cool completely before cutting with a very sharp knife, as it's very delicate until it's had time to sit for a while. The texture became a bit more dense after being stored overnight. I used the suggested option of lemon zest, which added the merest hint of citrus freshness. I'm going to try making it with light brown sugar next time... Found a good unbleached cake flour from King Arthur, and a good rice flour from Bob's Red Mill. This shortbread was so heavenly that I made several batches for Christmas gifts, and all of the recipients asked for the recipe.

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