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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Janie BS: Shortbread advice (23) RE: BS: Shortbread advice 04 Jan 17


A friend saw this and e-mailed me a recipe. I will definitely try that recipe but will have to go on a hunt in specialty shops to find the sugar called for. Other than the caster sugar the recipe is very similar to the one I have always used, and also calls for 8" tart pans. Recommended temp converts to 320F baked for 50 minutes. Will try it out in the morning.

Mr. Red, if it were feasible I'd send you some of the batch I made last night. Turns out they did not get hard but the texture is a tad too dry and not enough of the buttery richness comes through in the taste. At least for my taste, but we tend to love what we know as that shapes our expectations.

Re the crumbliness of the dough - for the tart pans I have found that while I want to work the mixture until it begins begins to form clumps when a handful is squeezed, I don't have to work it as much as needed to roll and cut out into 1/2" thick rounds, as it can be pressed down into the pan. I did learn in my experiments that getting it to clump is needed if I don't want lots of crumbs along the edges when I score the dough. For the cut out rounds, the dough has to be worked much more but the nature of shortbread 'dough' especially if no liquid flavor extracts are added, is to be crumbly.    So it requires working the dough with the hands much more, taking small portions to pat out laboriously, often stopping to squeeze in the edges again, and just enough dough at a time to cut out 4-6 rounds at a time. I use the rolling pin only to smooth the top of the dough and reduce the thickness from about 3/4" to 1/2" and accept that unlike other rolled cookies or pastry doughs, a good 1/2 inch around the edge will not be cut but will be reworked into the next handful that I roll/pat out.

Charmion, I know what you mean. I never was much of a pastry cook but did used to bake biscuits and pies regularly. Biscuits several times a week and pies several times a month. Now I rarely do either and when I do the results are not the same. Have lost the feel and touch. However, I also remember that when I first started I also did not have the 'feel' but developed it with frequent practice. I am confidence either one of us would get the 'feel' back if our current life circumstances warranted (allowed) us doing it on a regular basis.


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