Friday, November 11, 2011

Buckingham Palace Shortbread

Butter, flour and sugar. The 3 major food groups.  Wait....maybe not, but they are heaven when they all get together to make shortbread. This recipe is a bit different from others because it contains cake flour and cornstarch, which helps with the amazingly light, and sort of "melty" way this shortbread tastes when you eat it. Don't get me wrong, I love the slight crunch and crisp that a regular shortbread cookie has....but THIS takes shortbread to a whole......novah.....levoh ("whole 'nother level" - a very obscure reference to one of my favorite TV characters on a show that is no longer televised, MadTV).   

I digress. I made this recipe last night and have eaten exactly 6 pieces. IF you make this (and I know you will), be prepared to just give in to it because resistance is futile (another obscure reference - email me if you don't know that one).

The recipe for Buckingham Palace Shortbread comes from a cookbook entitled, "Holiday Baking" by Sara Perry. She says the recipe was given to her by someone who insists it is the very recipe made daily for the Queen's afternoon tea. 


Buckingham Palace Shortbread

2 C cake flour
3/4 C plus 1 TBL cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 C granulated sugar
up to 1/4 C superfine sugar for sprinkling 

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt until well blended.

2.  In a stand mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as necessary. On low speed, add the flour mixture in two or three additions until it forms a soft dough. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

...outta the bowl

...into the fridge.

3. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or leave ungreased.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 3/4 inch thick slab, about 5 X 8 inches. (I used a large frosting spatula to get the edges into shape). Transfer to the baking sheet and bake until lightly golden and firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. 

Into the oven with you.

Slip the parchment paper with the shortbread onto a hard surface. Immediately sprinkle the shortbread heavily with the superfine sugar. While still warm, use the spatula (or other straight, flat tool) and a paring knife, pointed straight down, to cut the shortbread into 1 - 1 1/2 inch pieces. Let cool completely. The shortbread tastes best at room temperature.


(Superfine sugar is also known as "Baker's Sugar" and can be found in supermarkets. For a quick substitute, simply whirl granulated sugar in a blender or food processor for about 20 seconds).

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