Ceilidh Shortbread

 

Every Christmas-time I try to re-create the short bread I buy at the Cedar Market.

 ‘So-called’ Scottish Short Bread…It’s the best I’ve ever had! 

This one has quite a lot less sugar …

 

I say ‘so-called’ because Scottish history reports it mostly as a left over dry bread concoction (more like baked or dried bread pudding than our shortbread today).

Here’s my personal creation…a bit of a twist by adding ground nuts

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Icing Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Coarse Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla

It’s SUCH an easy recipe!! Very basic ingredients!…it’s all about the technique, and that takes hours!  I say if you’re gonna make shortbread, use the very best ingredients…organic, unsalted butter (always a better quality than salted. Use the best you can buy), really great flour and fresh ground Hazelnuts ( you can use roasted almonds too).

This year I used Rice Flour, Oat Flour and ground toasted Hazelnuts

  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup ground,toasted Hazelnuts (Filberts)
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup All-purpose Flour (best quality~wheat)

I searched out the BEST organic unsalted butter I could find, and the best organic wheat (white) flour I could get!

and coarse salt (I like the bite I get with a bit more salt). A Good Vanilla bean is recommended .

I ground my own Oat flour.

I only needed 1/2 cup so I decided to grind my own…turned out I needed about twice as much oats (1 Cup+) to end up with 1/2 cup after sifting.

I used my Food Possessor to grind the oats.

I first started with my beater bar to mix the butter. This takes a bit of time… so relax.

Beat the butter alone for 10 minutes. My butter was still a bit cold, Add the sugar and allow to blend for at least 15 minutes.

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Scrape the bowl at least twice.

Once you’re satisfied that the butter mixture is room temperature (and very soft), switch to your Whip attachment.

This part is your only time to add air to your mixture. ( this is what is going to make your shortbread ‘fluff’ or rise a bit).

Beat as much air into it as you can!. It should be very fluffy and white when you’re done. Doesn’t take long once the butter is room temperature and all the sugar is well blended.

DSCF7785

Now add your dry ingredients…I sifted mine again* (another chance to add a bit of ‘fluff’ or air~that’s~gonna expand with heat -every bit counts here!…if you want the best short bread

Switch back to your beater bar and gently…slowly but not too slowly, add the dry ingredients to your fluffy butter mixture until well blended. Mix as little as possible to obtain a well mixed, very soft dough.

Spoon out onto a 12×12 plastic sheet and cover with another plastic sheet.

I used a small cutting board to squish the batter until it was 2-3 cm thick.DSCF7791

Put the flat dough onto a plate or something and refrigerate until firm (a few hours in the fridge)DSCF7793

This dough would be perfect for a cookie press.

I don’t have one so I cut the cold batter into slices.

Then I dipped them into chocolate…:)

 

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* The ground nuts were too big to go through my sifter (strainer) so I just added them into the sifted mix later…

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