Shortbread

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When I was twenty, I spent five weeks backpacking through the UK during the summer. It was my first time travelling abroad on my own. After England and Northern Ireland, I made my way to Scotland. While over there I had the best of times at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, drank hot toddies, stayed at the sketchiest of hostels in Glasgow, saw many hairy coos, visited the Highlands and Loch Ness, woke up to the sound of bagpipes on the Isle of Skye… never got around to trying Haggis though.

This classic Scottish dessert is traditionally made with one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. This shortbread recipe is from Baked co-owner Matt Lewis’s grandmother’s repertoire, and he added the fleur de sel. This buttery teatime treat is a great base to showcase flavours such as lavender, lemon, vanilla, etc.

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Bon appétit!

Recipe Source: Baked Explorations

Yields 48 cookies

Ingredients:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, cool but not cold
1 cup + 2 tbsp. superfine sugar, or 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (I used confectioner’s sugar)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp. fleur de sel

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Instructions:
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth.
2) Add the sugar and salt, beating until combined.
3) Either put the mixer on the lowest speed or use a spatula to fold in the flour and the rice flour, mixing until just incorporated.
4) Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
5) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is uniform. Do not overwork the dough.
6) Divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Shape them into disks. Wrap them in plastic. Place them in the fridge to firm up for at least 1 hour.
7) Preheat the oven to 325F.
8) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
9) Dust a work surface with flour. Work with one piece of chilled dough at a time while leaving the others in the fridge.
10) Roll out the disks until they 1/2 inch thick.
11) Slice the disks into 6 wedges, like a pizza.
12) Prick the tops with the tines of a fork.
13) Sprinkle some fleur de sel on top.
14) Place the shortbread onto the prepared baking sheets.
15) Bake for 17 to 22 minutes, or until the shortbread begins to brown.
16) Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the shortbread cool on the sheets for 10 minutes.
17) Remove the shortbread from the sheets and let cool completely.

Store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.

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