Shortbread- Variations on a Theme

I recently had to produce a LOT of cookies for a family event - about 700 or so.  I decided that everyone loves shortbread and so I would simply make different types.  I used my basic recipe (which follows) and simply added flavorings and fillings.  


½ lb. butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rice flour

Preheat oven to 325°
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper

Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light.  Gradually add flour, beating until a dough forms.  Turn dough out onto a counter and knead with your hands until the dough comes together.

Divide dough in half and roll out between two sheets of waxed paper and cut into desired shapes.  Transfer onto cookie sheets and bake for 17 to 20 minutes.  Check the cookies as they bake - they are done when they just start to color slightly.  You may sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar if you desire.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes and transfer to cooling racks to finish cooling.


Add a half cup of any of the following to the dough after all the flours have been added:

Finely chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts)
The finely grated zest of an orange
Mini chocolate chips

Two tablespoons of finely grated crystallized ginger
I also did one batch with the seeds from a vanilla bean.


I used Nutella to fill the hazelnut cookies
Ganache for the orange
I sandwiched plain cookies with raspberry jam - you may want to boil the jam for a little to make it thicker
The ginger cookies I filled with apricot jam.

As you can see, the combinations are endless - I think a toasted coconut, finely chopped would be good with either raspberry or apricot jam; you could used pecans or walnuts in place of the hazelnuts; I think substituting a ½ cup of almond flour in place of plain flour would be good and on and on.

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