Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Spring Cookie Recipe

This simple shortbread recipe is my daughter’s favorite cookie. I have cooked this recipe in a number of restaurants as it is a wonderful compliment to a cup a tea for the discerning guest. A year ago I received a pleading letter from her asking for the recipe but, as luck would have it, the only thing I could find was the professional version I use to teach my kitchens. It is virtually useless to the American home cook unless they have an electronic scale which can measure up to a kilogram by increments of one gram. I knew she didn’t have such a scale and I was in a terrible quandary until I remembered I had published it in the “home form” quite a few years ago when I was writing a newspaper food column.

It took a little daggering around to find where it was archived but I finally found it and was able to send it to her. As Spring should always be greeted with the good smell of dough products cooking in the oven, I thought this would be a good time to post it. I hope you enjoy it! For all its deceptive simplicity, it produces something truly wonderful to be enjoyed with tea or ice cream (although my daughter swears it is a great treat just as a standalone)!

Scottish Shortbread

1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of potato starch (substitute corn starch)
Sugar to sprinkle the top with, use slightly larger than regular sized crystals, if possible

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and work the butter in them until completely mixed. If too dry to hold together, carefully add only a few drops of water at a time, being very cautious not to over moisten. Do this until the dough will hold together in a ball. Press the dough in the pan to form a layer of uniform height. Then take the tines of a fork and prick it evenly in a decorative pattern. Turn the tines flat and press around the edge to create another attractive pattern. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake in a moderately cool oven at about 300-325 F. for about 40 minutes or until somewhat tan in the middle and lightly brown around the edges.

Cut in little wedges and let it cool. A few may break on the way out of the pan but the closer it gets to room temperature, the fewer broken wedges there will be. Enjoy!


Gama said...

You made hungry and I have downstairs and cook some cookies.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks Gama for the nice words! How is the haloscan comments thing working out? I haven't figured out how to leave a comment there since you changed. But I wanted to tell you what a nice classical feeling the poem you just posted has. Very sophisticated!

Gama said...

Just leave a comment on the comment don't write on the trackback, and it's been good so far, you leave comments and you don't to wait long for the box to show up... I really that feature.
Remember to click on the word comment not track back, sometimes it asks you for e-mail and username, but sometimes it doesn't.
I know I lost all past comments, but it's worth it.
Thank you so much for your words.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks Gama! I'll give it a try a little later!

jadedprimadonna said...

I do believe I will make these for my children tonight! We're having the most gorgeous spring weather, and you are so right - spring should be associated with delicious smells!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hope your kids liked them! The best type of pan to use, by the way, is a medium sized spring form cake pan. The side removes leaving only the bottom. This makes it much easier to get the round of cooked cookies out, even before you cut them into wedges. Let me know how it came out!

the lives we leave said...

Russell!Please remind me to post my cranberry white chocolate shortbread recipie! This one looks divine though! i will try it soon1 ;-) Thanks


Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi Anais! I am eager to see that recipe. It sounds wonderful! I will remind you about making that post for sure!