Happy Memorial Day and a heartfelt thank you to all the men and women who serve their country so faithfully and the families who support and sacrifice right along with them. We couldn't do what we do and be who we are without your service - thank you!
I love shortbread. It falls into the category of I don't bake or buy it very often because I would want to eat more of it than I should so it's easier not to have it on hand in the first place (Sun Chips, Doritos and French fries fall into this category as well). But every once in awhile it's a nice treat. And if I'm going to indulge in shortbread, this is my favorite one.
Banana Bread Brownies so anything with banana was out as I didn't have enough time to let bananas ripen. But I was pleasantly surprised by the request for this shortbread since it gave me an excuse to make it again.
The challenge with this shortbread is you'll want to take it out too soon. Don't. Because if you do, it won't have the "snap" of good shortbread and instead will be too chewy because it hasn't baked long enough. It looks done in my oven at 45 minutes. That's when I get twitchy and want to take it out because it's already brown all over and I don't want it to burn. My underbaking tendencies are not well served with shortbread. But it has a much better texture when it's baked for long enough so I managed to keep myself from taking it out until it had been in there for at least 55 minutes
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup rice flour or substitute cornstarch if rice flour is unavailable
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (¾lb) fresh unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons fruit sugar or superfine sugar
6 tablespoons tightly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup miniature butterscotch chips
¾ cup English toffee pieces (available in the baking sections of most supermarkets)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Sift the all-purpose flour and rice flours together with the salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until very smooth. Gradually add the sugars and cream the mixture until it is very light and fluffy. Transfer the creamed butter-sugar mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour mixture, about ½ cup at a time, fully incorporating each addition before adding the next. Use your fingers to knead the final portion of dry ingredients into the dough, keeping your palms off the dough as much as possible, so the warmth doesn’t turn the butter oily. When the last of the flour is fully blended, add the butterscotch and toffee bits and knead them into the dough until they are evenly distributed.
- Press the dough firmly into the prepared pan and use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Prick the dough all over with a fork and set the pan in the center of the oven. Bake the shortbread for about 45 minutes, then prick the dough again to release any trapped air. Return the pan to the oven for another 15 or 30 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown, and the center feels just firm to the touch.
- The shortbread will set to a very firm biscuit as it cools, so it must be cut while it is still warm. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 7 or 8 minutes, then run a sharp paring knife around the outside of the dough to loosen the edges. Make two long cuts in the shortbread, dividing it evenly into three rectangles, each cut beginning and ending at a short side of the pan. Cutting from long side to long side, cut the rectangles into about ¾-inch wide fingers, wiping the knife on a clean towel between each cut, as it gets sticky and can pull and tear the cooling shortbread.
- Leave the fingers to cool completely in the pan, then re-cut and transfer them to airtight tins.