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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Janie BS: Shortbread advice (23) RE: BS: Shortbread advice 06 Jan 17

Now children, Shortnin' bread and shortbread are related but not synonymous.

Thompson. True. But 'working as little as possible' varies, as I have learned over the past 6 weeks. It is necessary to work the dough a good bit more to cut out into shapes using a biscuit or cookie cutter than is necessary if patting into a pan. Patting into a rectangle or square shape without using a pan and scoring into diamonds or rectangles probably requires something in between.

I'm newly semi-retired and having fun in the kitchen for the first time in years, btw, and on a shortbread binge of experimentation.

The petticoat tails I've made, so far at varying temperatures and baking times, all are more tender than the shortbread rounds I have been making for years and that is surely because of the difference in handling the dough. Maybe - probably - because the small cut-out rounds are what I first knew, I love their solidity and lack of crumbliness on the palate. Gritty but not crumbly. I don't find them tough but I can imagine that some people would. I am realizing that the petticoat tails are going to feel different on the palate no matter what, and developing a different appreciation for that different texture. Will be more crumbly and more tender than the rounds.

Re: rolling or patting them thinner - I guess it comes down to personal taste. I've never been a huge fan of the thin shortbread cookies one can buy, whether domestic or imported. Not short enough and too sweet for me. However, I also make some every year that I pat out much thinner, probably 1/4 inch and cut into small Holiday shapes. For those I usually add orange zest or almond extract both of which add a bit more moisture and make it more possible to pat them out to a thinner depth. These are much more cookie-like in taste, crisper, and I often dip the bottom half in dark chocolate. Some of my friends much prefer them to the rounds. Family still prefer the rounds. Haven't shared the petticoat tail trial batches with many folks yet to get feedback.

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