Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Classic Shortbread Cookies


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This is my all-time, favorite cookie made in a ceramic Brown Bag brand shortbread pan that I purchased on eBay a few years ago. The pattern is called Wild Flowers and each triangle has a lovely impression of a flower.


The pans were popular in the 80's and I was surprised to find that they are still made!  I saw quite a nice selection on Amazon and eBay. 


Tea in my favorite new infuser (Tea Forte) - a Christmas gift from a daughter.  Flowers blooming - a favorite cookie and tea - what could be better to ease a sore and achy back? I spent all afternoon last Sunday shoveling, raking, planting, bending and lifting cubic yards of potting soil.  My back is still paying the price!  But I was happy to get almost everything done before the rain began on Memorial Day.


This is only the second time I've used my ceramic shortbread pan.  The first time was a disaster with the cookies sticking to the pan and so I packed it away.  Then, I remembered the wonderful wild flower design and, with flowers blooming in the garden again, I decided it was time to give it another try.
 

This time, I did some research and found the Brown Bag website where it mentions to bake in the lower 1/3rd of the oven and also to make sure it is well baked.  I'm sure I didn't cook mine long enough the first time and that is why it stuck to the pan.


I like to add a small amount of rice flour to my shortbread to give it a more 'sandy' texture so that is the only change I made to the recipe. I used a little less AP flour and replaced the rest with rice flour. This time, I used brown rice flour from Bob's Red Mill because that is what I had on hand.

These are flaky, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread!

Classic Shortbread
Adapted from the Brown Bag Website
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar (unsifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour (unsifted)
1/4 cup brown rice or plain flour (I use Bob's Red Mill Brand)

Preheat oven to 325F.

Using the back of a large, wooden spoon, cream the butter until it is light. Add the powered sugar and blend, then mix in the vanilla. Work in the flours until just blended then knead the dough on an unfloured surface until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

If using a ceramic shortbread pan, spray it very lightly with a non-stick vegetable oil spray (I used Baker's Joy). I also rubbed a small amount of softened butter onto the pan. Put the ball of dough in the middle of the pan, and working out from the center, firmly press the dough into the pan. Prick the entire surface with a fork thoroughly, and bake the shortbread in the bottom 1/3rd of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. Be sure that the middle is thoroughly cooked and doesn’t look slightly opaque or the shortbread could stick in the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. I very gently pressed on the edge of the shortbread with a flat icing knife all around the edges to help it release. Then, place a cutting board over the top of the shortbread pan and carefully flip it over. Gently lift off the pan and hopefully, it will have released. If not, lift up the pan about 1" from the cutting board and let it drop. Then, cut the shortbread into serving pieces right away while it is still warm.

If you don't have a shortbread pan, simply pat the kneaded shortbread dough into a small (7-8") tart pan. You could even place it on a baking sheet and pat it out into a 7-8" free-form square or circle. Cut into pieces while still warm.

66 comments:

  1. Your cookies are beautiful Susan! I love all the different shortbread pans. Glad you got the gardening done, now it's time to enjoy:@)

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  2. Oh I have seen those pans and had no idea what they were! Now if I find one for a bargain at the flea market, I may have to purchase it. Hope that I remember. I love a shortbread cookie...it's in my top five favorite list. Poor achy back...hope that it recovers quickly.

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  3. I think we are kind of twins:-)
    You know I love tea forte:-)
    And David's teas..and Harney's..and blooming ones:-)
    Soon you will try David's..he told me:-)
    And we have the same shortbread pan:-)
    I love it..
    Your board looks like an Ann board:-)
    Your tree peony is magnifico..to me they are tree peonies:-)
    PS love green tea too..just plain old green tea--loose..
    Our gardens are lush lush..lush. With more rain today..and only blues ..white..some mauves..pinks. And one orange:-)
    In bloom.

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    1. My yellow tree peony just started blooming today. Rain, of course, early this morning so they are soaked.

      The board is actually from Home Goods - Italian olive wood. Lucky find. Perfect for transporting and serving little treats :)

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  4. They look wonderful, Susan. I have always wanted a shortbread pan. xo

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  5. I used to have one of these shortbread molds. I have no idea what happened to it. But I sure do love shortbread made the old fashioned way.

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  6. these look awesome and tea and shortbread in the garden heavenly

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  7. Oh I love shortbread and this design is lovely! I have a mold but it is very small, heart shaped and I have not used it often enough. I love a simple buttery cookie. Your garden looks like it's doing great so far - hope your back is better soon!

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  8. I love a good shortbread, and yours look/sound yummy. Sounds like you got a lot done outside. I can sympathize with the back issue. :/
    Enjoy your evening.

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  9. These look amazing I love your pan!
    Is just beautiful! xo

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  10. I add rice flour to my shortbread as well. It makes such a big difference, I think. I well remember Brown Bag Cookie Art cookie and shortbread molds. I bought a shortbread mold only to have it crack the first time I used it. Unfortunately I bought it while traveling, so was unable to return it. I may just have to buy another one. Your cookies look so tasty and to consume them in such a lovely setting sounds like heaven! So glad to hear that you are still enjoying your bread machine. :-)

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  11. I never made shortbread, but after seeing yours I feel that I should give this a try...looks beautiful and so perfectly sliced...
    Hope you are having a lovely week Susan :)

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  12. Beautiful!! I've never made shortbread but it's on my list to bake!! Love that pan and the flowers.

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  13. What a beautiful garden! Your hard work really shows, and I do hope your back feels better soon. A pot of tea and that lovely shortbread certainly should help. :)

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  14. Beautiful flowers and delicious looking shortbread. Thanks for all those tips on having it come out from the pan - something I don't own but would love to get.

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  15. Hi Susan! The shortbread cookies look perfect and served with the tea surrounded with such beautiful flowers was a lovely idea. I was lucky enough to fine a similar pan at a garage sale. I use it frequently and never have a problem sticking. If you want to try another recipe, I posted an orange spice shortbread here: http://www.gratefulprayerthankfulheart.com/2010/12/orange-spice-shortbread.html
    If you have the same booklet that came with my pan, the recipe is in there.

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    1. Thank you, Lorraine, I'll have to try your recipe, it sounds delicious.

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  16. Thank you for the recipe! I LOVE shortbread!

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  17. Shortbread and tea, especially Tea Forte, is the best relief for a sore back and a lift for the soul. I discovered Tea Forte when our older son was married. It went into gift bags for guests along with homemade shortbread. I do not have such a shortbread mold but am going to check it out. Your garden is lovely.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  18. The shortbread looks delicious!
    I hope your back is much better by now. Take it easy with the gardening - from one over-achiever to another (I think!)

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  19. I too want a shortbread pan! So cool!
    The shortbread looks very delicious, Susan.

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  20. I love that you have that cute pan just for shortbread!

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  21. I love shortbread cookies but have never seen a pan like this before - how fun. Looks like the second times a charm because these look beautiful. There was a store that use to be at the mall, the name escapes me, but they had the best shortbread ever, served in a pretty tin. I need to try making these.

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  22. I'm quite familiar with Tea Forte and Blooming Teas - have you seen Blooming Teas yet? Spectacular.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

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  23. Your cookies are beautiful. And the tea. Looks lovely, pretty picture and just the perfect treat after work in the garden. Hope you are feeling good now!

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  24. Susan, your tea time shots are perfect!
    Shortbread always seems to be the cookie I make when I can't decide on a treat.
    And I'm glad I'm not the only one who adds vanilla extract to this classic cookie. Yes, we're rebels.

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  25. They look beautiful, Susan. I love shortbread. From freezing to 80's! Need iced tea today!
    Have a good weekend!

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  26. Your cookies look pretty and yummy! Interesting with the pan, I've seen them at stores and will have to check them out again. Glad you got your gardening done. I will be doing that this weekend, depending on the weather. Thanks again for all your help!

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  27. That shortbread pan is super cute! And I love shortbread, this looks great!

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  28. Susan, the cookies look superb!
    Such a beautiful and elegant presentation.
    Ahh-before I forget, love your china, is it Herendt?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Daneila! The cup and saucer are from a great aunt. The saucer is Limoges and the cup is Dresden Flowers by Schumann/Germany. I thought they looked rather good together :)

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  29. Your shortbread looks perfectly golden and delicious my friend :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  30. Your shortbreads look delicious and the pan makes them even prettier. I haven't made shortbread in years, but used a cast iron flat griddle to bake it. Homemade shortbread is a treat. Gosh, you're making be hungry for some.

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  31. Shortbread is my favorite!
    And that pan is amazing - where was yours from?
    Going to have a look on ebay now :)
    xx

    gemma @ http://andgeesaid.blogspot.com.au/

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  32. I've never seen a pan like that but I make shortbread every few months.. often lavender scented or lemon. I love the stuff with tea. I would love to try this pan. Your garden looks amazing... it is worth the aches and pains in the end, isn't it? Love the photo, as always... do I recognize that cutting board? Gorgeous

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    1. Thank you, Deanna! The board was actually a lucky find at Home Goods. It's an olive wood board made in Italy.

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  33. Gorgeous. I have such a shortbread plate - wanted to see a photo of the printed side!
    Our ancient family recipe is different, and delicious, too:
    1, 1/2, 1/4 flour, butter, sugar
    and the trick is to mix the sugar and the flour, then knead in the butter, chill, roll and cut.
    YUM!
    :)
    V

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  34. Se ven hermosas y deliciosas sus galletas ,las flores y los helechos muy bellos en mi jardín hay muchos,hugs.

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  35. That is a lovely shortbread pan! Have not seen one before!
    And your flowers are looking very pretty! After all the hard gardening work, you definitely deserve to enjoy your lovely shortbread in the comforts of your own beautiful garden with a cup of warm tea! Wish I could join you! :)

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  36. Your hard work in the garden will reap many joys this summer, Susan! Looks like a very pretty wrought iron bird bath, too.
    Lovely shortbread recipe and the plate is so cute. I've seen them, but don't own one. Nothing better than a cup of tea with a shortbread cookie!

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  37. A cup of tea and one of your flower embossed shortbreads sounds like a wonderful afternoon treat.

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  38. Hi Susan, love your shortbread cookies, they look so lovely. It's great to go with a cup of nice tea. I like your ceramic shortbread pan, lovely design.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  39. This is a beautiful shortbread pan Susan and it was a very clever idea to give it another chance! Your shortbreads look very elegant and perfect with a cup of tea in a garden as beautiful as yours!

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  40. Gorgeous cookies and shots of your garden Susan! I'm not familiar with that kind of pan but I love the flower impression! Hope your back has recovered!

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  41. I adore shortbread, and yours is beautiful. I reminds me a bit of Springerle with the pretty pattern. and I think I am in love with your tea pot!

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  42. These shortbread cookies are gorgeous. That shortbread pan is also lovely. Now, I want to get myself a lovely baking pan for my shortbread. :) What a great way to enjoy a tea party!

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  43. What a beautiful pan and what lovely cookies! I love the flower imprint. Thank you so much for sharing. Now I want a cup of tea, shortbread, and a good book!

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  44. These look amazing Susan, I like your pan!Have a nice week my dear, a hug....

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  45. I have a few Brown Paper Bag molds from the 90's that I used in making paper art casts -- I should now try making cookies in them! Your shortbread and your garden look beautiful, Susan.

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  46. Over the years, I have looked at those beautiful Brown Paper Bag molds in the stores. The wildflower design on yours is so pretty, and your shortbread is beautiful! Glad you got the gardening done. It's time for me to get my tea pot out like yours. I forget about it ;o)

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  47. Love shortbread cookies and I am thinking with a really good cup of coffee. Delicious!

    Velva

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  48. Dang...I saw one of those molds recently & didn't think I could use it. Phooey! Wanna bet its not there anymore? I'll have to go back.
    I wondered if they had to be "seasoned" to release the cookies well. Perhaps that is why your second attempt worked better?

    I hope you do try the Asiago cheese on the English muffin, with or without the tomato...it is REALLY good, honest!!

    Hugs,
    Rett

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  49. Sooo tempting. Yummy. Delicious.
    Come and participate in my event and giveaways
    http://merrytummy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/event-annoucement-and-giveaway-cook.html

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  50. I am a confessed shortbread addict so I'm delighted that you shared this recipe. They look wonderful and I love your cookie mold!

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  51. Perfection!!! I'd love to dunk these in my morning coffee.

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  52. Shortbread is at the top of our favorite cookies, especially since my husband has some Scottish blood in him. The pan's design is so pretty!

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  53. Your ceramic pan produces such a lovely cookie, Susan. I always add some rice flour to my shortbread recipes too. It gives the cookies a wonderful fine texture. Your labors in the garden paid off - everything looks so lush and beautiful.

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  54. I can practically smell the butter. Nothing so pure and rich and lovely as shortbread. Your pan makes such a pretty pattern and of course your outdoor pictures are fantastic.

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  55. We are on the same page! Your shortbread looks divine and I would love to have such a lovely pan. Shortbread just goes so perfectly with anything. I've missed you Susan. It's so nice to visit again!

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  56. Susan, This is the perfect time of year to have a tea party in the garden- how fun to use this shortbread pan with flowers printed into each slice- please pass the tea ;-)

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  57. looks delicious & mouthwatering!

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  58. They look wonderful, Susan. Sorry I am so late getting here, but it has been a hectic month!

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  59. So gorgeous, shortbread cookies are my favourite :D
    Delicious recipe!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  60. I did receive it - but don't mind as it is a LOVELY post!
    YUM!
    V

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