This is an unusual shortbread recipe. Not because it is twice baked, but because it calls for melted butter. Typically, shortbread recipes tell you to keep the butter as cold as possible so it will be released during baking like a pastry. While that is all very well, it leaves me with very yucky hands (I don’t have a pastry cutter) and I always find those pea sized bits of butter very elusive. Simply melting the butter and pouring it into the flour mixture seamed too good to be true. So I had to try it!Despite the easy cooking method, this shortbread recipe isn’t up to scratch either Compared to the first trial, this batch had a better level of sweetness (a little less sweet, I think this was due to the honey in version 1) and was crumbly. Too crumbly. The sticks would break every time you tried to pick one up. I think this is down to the double bake: the shortbread got a little too dry which meant it lost all of its structure. On the plus side, the shortbread wasn’t at all greasy. I do still like the idea of doing a bit of a double bake but, I think I would do it for less time in a hotter oven to prevent the cookies lousing a lot of moisture while still allowing the edges to brown.
So neither trial 1 or trial 2 made the shortbread recipe. Thankfully there’s still plenty of time before Christmas!
Makes ~ 8 large shortbread ‘fingers’
- 3/4 unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- sugar for dusting
- Mix the sugar, flour, and salt.
- In a saucepan over the stove (or in the microwave if you have one) melt the butter.
- When the butter is melted, pour it over the flour mixture and give it a good stir to incorporate all the dry ingredients.
- Line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Pour the batter into the loaf tin and allow to rest for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. I hear the longer you let the shortbread rest, the better.
- Once the batter has rested, preheat your oven to 300F (150C).
- Bake the shortbread for 45 mins.
- When the shortbread has cooked, use the parchment paper to lift it out of the loaf tin.
- Allow the shortbread to cook for about 10 mins or until it’s cool enough to handle.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the shortbread into fingers.
- Place the fingers on a cookie sheet and put back into the oven for another 15 mins.
- Allow to cool.