The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Christmas goodies

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Christmas goodies

I hope it isn't too late to add a recipe? I see that TT loooooooves butter so here is a real artery clogger for you. I make it every year to give as gifts because it is easy and tastes wonderful. When I arrived in America in 1967 one of my first friends was a Scottish woman and this is her authentic shortbread recipe.

Margaret McLaren's Scottish Shortbread.

3 sticks butter, at room temperature, 1 heaping cup of powdered sugar, 1 egg yolk, 4 cups ap flour, sifted.

Sift the sugar into a bowl and work in the butter and egg yolk with your hands. Mix well and add flour 1 cup at a time. Make into a jelly roll shape and divide into 3 for 8" to 9" rounds. Pat out on waxed paper - I line a layer cake tin with a circle of paper - to 1/2" thickness. Prick all over and score into segments, then crimp the edges with the fork. Bake at 300* for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Should be very pale.

If my d-i-l hadn't scared me with salmonella warnings I could eat the dough uncooked, it is that good. Yes, I used to do just that! Margaret didn't specify salted or unsalted butter, your choice. I did cut it into squares one year but the rounds are much easier. Hope someone will try it, A.

Comments

browndog's picture
browndog

Annie, I love shortbread!

Do you mean by 'make it in to a jelly roll shape', a log like for refrigerator cookies?

 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Browndog and TT, sorry if I was a bit vague last night. Margaret used the Swiss Roll shape description but it is just a way of making it easy to divide into 3 because you pat it out immediately. Not like cookie dough that you chill and slice. I seem to remember that she patted her dough out on brown paper. I find it easier to use the cake pans so that I get the size right and the thickness even. Once it is level in the pan, mark it in segments ( like pie slices) with a knife so that it is easier to break neatly. Prick it all over and press the edges with the fork for a pretty edge. I put the whole disk on a paper plate and wrap it with plastic and ribbons - and hope it doesn't break before I hand it over. Still tastes good even in pieces but doesn't look so classy. Hope you like it, A.

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

The shortbread sounds great, but Im kinda lost.

I get the log idea then cut into thirds.  But after you cut into thirds and then line out in a cake tin and bake, are you then cutting those pieces into smaller ones?  Or are you just breaking off pieces as you serve it.

Thank you Annie,

TT

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hope I answered your question, TT. If you like to fiddle you can bake it in rounds or squares like cookies, but they tend to brown too much and I happen to like the look of the whole big shortbread. Somewhere I have a proper shortbread mold... I dug it out and find it is made by the Brown Bag Cookie Art company - it is ceramic and has an intricate design which they say was inspired by antique American butter molds. Came with a little booklet with 7 recipes, and guess what? In the back is a metric conversion table. Bonus! Hope you enjoy the shortbread, A.

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

I tried to convince my daughter into smushing the three sticks of butter into the powdered sugar with her bare hands, she was having none of it. So I did all the smushing myself.  I only had one 9" cake tin, so I used a pie tin, and a glass pie dish as well.  I made sure to pay attention during the bake since they would bake at different rates. 

They came out very good.  I am very pleased with the results.  Thank you very much for the recipe.

Have a great holiday,

TT 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

TT, you're very welcome and I'm glad you like it. Did you taste the raw dough? I quite like the smushing, but always hope the phone won't ring when I'm up to my elbows in butter! Holiday greetings to you and your family, A.

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

It went together so quick it slipped my mind. 

Out of curiosity in your first post you mentioned your d-i-l.  Pardon my lack of knowledge but what is a d-i-l?  You also mentioned you came into the states back in 1967.  If you dont mind me asking where did you move from?

Thanks again Annie,

TT

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Daughter-in-law, TT. I only have one and she is the best thing that ever happened to my son! Plus she tolerates his frequent purchases of ancient Saab cars. We moved here from England and spent the first 2 years in Georgia where they couldn't understand us and we couldn't understand them. We talked at 90 mph and were always being asked to slow down. The same son's first words were "Y'all". Then we spent 2 winters in Wisconsin where our dear neighbors were the first Americans I met who had lived in the same house for 40 years. Grandpa Beres would regularly bring his sacks and ashes to get my car back onto the driveway after yet another slide off in the snow. Great people. Then 8 months in San Diego before heading to Singapore for 4 years, then back to S.D. I could go on but this is a baking site and I did have another thought on the shortbread. You could draw circles on wax paper or parchment, pat the dough to size and bake it on a cookie sheet. That's if you plan on making it again, A.

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Thanks for the answers too.  Very interesting travels you've had.  I can only imagine your English accent in the Deep South.  Must have been a hoot trying to converse with the locals.

Thanks again Annie, I'll maybe go the parchment circle route next time also.

Have a good night,

TT

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

This is EXCELLENT shortbread - not too sweet, amazingly rich! I'm making another batch tomorrow...little gifts for our neightbors. Thanks so much for this great recipe.

 Trish

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

So glad you like it, Trish. I just put my 3 pans in the oven and I did snitch a bit of dough for old times' sake, A.