Friday, 24 June 2011


So, it was my guy's birthday at the start of the month. I offered to bake him any treat he liked for his special day. I was thinking of a new cupcake flavour....or a beautiful layer cake...something like that. He asked for....shortbread. Yeah....shortbread. A cookie! This didn't quite fit with my idea of what a birthday treat should be, but I did promise to bake him whatever he wanted, and he was insistent.

So, shortbread it was. He also wanted me to choose a recipe with a very high butter content (he has an unhealthy obsession with butter). And, here it is-Williams Sonoma's Scotch Shortbread recipe. This really is the most buttery thing I have ever eaten. In a good way. It tastes like cookie dough but absolutely melts in your mouth. I think this will be a repeat request!!

Scotch Shortbread (makes 27 pieces)

16 Tbsp (2 sticks) butter at room temperature ( I would recommend using a really good butter as it is such a big part of the taste)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300*F.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy (about 3-4 mins). Add the confectioners' sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and continue beating until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your thumb and finger (mine never got to this stage despite excessive beating-I don't think this made it any less amazing). Beat in the vanilla.

Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift togther flour and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter and mix on low speed until just blended.

Using floured fingertips, press dough into an ungreased 9-in square baking pan (I used an 8-in one because it was all I had and this was fine). Sprinkle evenly with the tablespoon of granulated sugar.

Bake until the edges are golden-about 1 hr. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately use a thin, sharp knife to cut the shortbread into strips 3 inches by 1 inch. Use a toothpick or the tines of a fork to decorate the shortbread with a pattern of dots. Let the strips cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 mins before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma