Vanilla Scottish Shortbread
2 sticks (8 ozs.) salted butter, softened
1½-1¾ c. (8½ ozs. by weight) all-purpose flour
½ c. (2½ ozs. by weight) rice flour or cornstarch
½ c. sugar (3½ ozs. by weight) granulated sugar
1 t. ground vanilla or vanilla powder
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with a paddle (or use a large mixing bowl and hand mixer).
Turn the mixer on low, and gradually increase the speed to medium-high, beating the ingredients until they clump together. Turn off the mixer.
For thin shortbread, divide the dough between two lightly oiled and parchment-lined 8- or 9-inch cake pans.
For a thicker shortbread, scrape all the dough into one lightly oiled and parchment-lined cake pan.
Pat the dough firmly into the pan(s), making the surface as level as possible.
Use a fork to prick the surface of the shortbread. (This is mainly for visual appeal when the shortbread is done, so the pattern you use is up to you.)
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it feels set to the touch and has just started browning around the edges.
Remove from the oven. To get the cleanest finished pieces, use a bench knife to cut the shortbread in the pan(s) while still quite hot (within 5 minutes of removal from the oven.)
Allow the shortbread to cool completely before turning out of the pan(s).
Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
• • •
We're staying in the U.K. for this next recipe with my take on the classic British Flapjacks.
Unlike American flapjacks, British Flapjacks are a caramel-flavored, chewy, oat-filled, dense, bar cookie.
And they're addictive. Be warned.
While our overseas cousins traditionally use Lyle's Golden Syrup, I make these with good old-fashioned American maple syrup.
Either way they are delicious, but I think they benefit immensely from the distinctive maple touch.