Monday, June 14, 2010


This recipe is from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. I made this recipe for a family night at my son's school. We were told to bring a dish that represented our cultural heritage. My husband is of Hungarian descent, but Hungarian dishes are mostly meaty. Not only are there main dishes mostly meaty, most of their dessert involve nuts and with so many children allergic to nuts I stay away from nut when making things for school functions. Ruling out my husband heritage left only mine which is mostly Scottish. I toyed with the idea of making a Haggis, but again with the meat. So, I settled on a nice shortbread.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl, heat the butter and confectioner's sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, making sure to scrap the side of the bowl and beaters once in a while. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
  2. Using your hands, press the dough into a ball in the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface ( I have granite counter tops and I did not need any flour...the dough did not stick) and knead the dough by hand until it is very smooth, about 3 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the dough to that baking sheet. Press the dough into a disk and roll out to a 9-inch diameter circle, about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Crimp the ends of the dough as you would a pie crust, then poke the dough with a fork in a circular pattern(make sure you poke all the was through the dough), and then score the dough (do not go all the way through this time) with a small sharp knife into 16 wedges.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.
  5. Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat the over to 300°. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle it evenly with the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake the shortbread until a pale golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time.
  6. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and using a sharp knife cut the shortbread alone the previously made score marks to separate the wedges. Let cool on the baking dish for 10 minutes. Transfer the shortbread from the baking sheet directly onto the wire rack and cool for at least one hour before serving.

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