so I'm not a baker per say, well let me rephrase that, I can bake, cookies,croissants, bread etc, I just prefer cooking to baking... I think its all the sifting and measuring etc.. with cooking I can just add stuff as I wish, a pinch here, a sprig of that.. much more enjoyable for me..
that is until we come to Christmas time.. and Shortbread... the stuff of Angels and by far my hands down favourite Christmas baked goody. I have to admit I have put away a fair number of these delights in my years and look forward to this tradition.
The recipe that I have shared below is the simplest and most delectable I have found. It is originally from my Aunt B's mother, and has always been referred to as Granny's Shortbread. Light and melt in your mouth, it has become "the" shortbread all others are measured by.
I take this every year into my office as I am repeatedly asked by my coworkers if I am making it again.I still make it the same way I was first taught, a small round fluted cookie cutter, rolled thin and pricked twice on top with a fork. No sprinkles, no chocolate, just the cookie itself to melt and dissolve on your tongue.
1 lb Butter
1 cup sifted Icing Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 cups 5 Roses All Purpose Flour ( use a very fine baking flour)
Soften the butter to room temperature, mix in the Vanilla , the Icing Sugar and half the flour. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time until you have a stiff and non-sticky dough. The dough can be refrigerated covered, until you are ready to roll it out. Roll out to your desired thickness and place on an un-greased baking sheet. The number of cookies will depend on the thickness of the cookies that you desire. Cook at 275F until done. The trick with these is to basically dry them out, and not brown them. They should snap gently in half when done. Remove quickly from the baking sheet and place on cooling racks to stop them from cooking further. These also freeze very well in a tightly sealed container.
Simple, seasonal, and so delicious!
Finally, my wish for all of you.
May the Christmas Season bring warm memories,
Joy and Peace to you and yours.
May these last 12 months be remembered with fondness
and may you carry forward the lessons that they have taught you.
Hold your loved ones close,
make that long overdue telephone call,
and celebrate our differences as gifts.
Ryan, here at Current Ripple.