Scotland is as well known for its Food, as it is for its history, folklore and festivals. Some people think Scottish food is not for the faint-hearted - they use varieties of meat and spices that might not gel with everyone. However, when it comes to Desserts, they are a safe bet, and Scottish pastries are famous for being not overly-sweet, with a flaky crust and nice fresh fruit filling. But even if someone is not familiar with Scottish food, I am sure they will know about the Scottish Shortbread. [photo courtesy of Rita Maas via Fine Cooking]
Shortbread is the simplest of preparations, flour, butter and sugar, and also one of the fastest cookies that I have baked! The end result relies heavily upon the flavor of the butter, so don't compromise here, and DO NOT think about calories when you bake a Shortbread. This recipe is adapted from The Edinburgh Book of Plain Cookery Recipes. It has loads of authentic recipes that you will love.
Scottish Shortbread Recipe
1-1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rice flour
8 ounces salted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer, paddle until the dough clumps together. You can even do this by using a ladle or your hands. Break the butter into chunks and slowly mix it in with the flour to form the dough.
Press the dough in a 8-9 inch cake pan, pressing it gently to attain 1-2 inch thickness, depending on how you like your shortbread. Line the pan with heavy aluminum foil, letting the foil extend over two sides of the pan, then press the dough. This will help to lift out the shortbread after it is baked, and cut it into pieces.
Prick with a fork to decorate if you wish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned. Cut into appropriate sized pieces while it’s still warm, and allow to cool completely before removing it from the pans.
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