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I am thinking that these are for those Christmas time anise flavored cookies. The dough is not very sticky and firm. Press mold in rolled dough and the cookies "rest" for many hours before baking to hold the shape in the cooler or room temp. I know it is a german name, but can't think of it right now. If someone knows the name of what I am talking about, please post as this might make me go mad today thinking of it. :wacko:

Debra Diller

"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

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  • 5 months later...

Does your shortbread recipe include salt, either in salted butter or added separately?

I have several British cookbooks that call for unsalted butter and no salt. In fact, I grew up with unsalted shortbread. But now I wonder, would it taste better lightly salted, as so many foods do?

Also, what's traditional in Scottish shortbread, salt or no salt?

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Interesting...I'm a 5th-generation New Zealander, but my great-grandmother used salted butter in her shortbread, and I was frequently told that a Scot might use salt without sugar, but never sugar without salt. Great-grandmother's family came from some long-forgotten Scottish island...via Sydney! The matriarchs of my family were supremely confident that unsalted shortbread was inauthentic and deserving of contempt, but I have no idea where they got that confidence from!

I know that many people prefer to use unsalted butter for most baking and add just a tiny amount of salt, but I just can't do without that saltiness! For me, chocolate cake just HAS to be made with salted butter!

Regards, will be interested to see other responses.

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Does your shortbread recipe include salt, either in salted butter or added separately?

I have several British cookbooks that call for unsalted butter and no salt. In fact, I grew up with unsalted shortbread. But now I wonder, would it taste better lightly salted, as so many foods do?

This is a question you must answer for yourself, to your own tastes. Try it both ways. Report back.

I'm guessing you'll prefer a touch of salt.

Edited by Katherine (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm looking for a shortbread cookie recipe. When I lived in NYC, I loved the small shortbread cookies at City Bakery. I've looked online, but I'm not finding many shortbread recipes. Perhaps this is due to the simplicity of the cookie? Who knows.

Emeril's site has one recipe for brown sugar shortbread cookies but it requires the use of a springform pan (which I don't know). What do you think - is it worth the purchase if I have no plans to make cheesecake? Or should I just try the recipe noted in this topic?

Thanks in advance.

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I have used a recipe that is the same as yours except that it has one half the sugar amount in granulated and one half in powdered . I always use room temperature butter and normally don't chill the dough for shortbread formed in a pan, I use 8"tart pans, but if I make small cookies I form them place on a lined cookie sheet and chill for a while, then bake at 325, the one in tart pans I bake at 300 for almost an hour the tart pans take a recipe 2 1/2 times yours each. Then I let them cool to room temperature and slice into wedges with a very sharp knife. I hope this helps.

check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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  • 8 months later...

What a disaster! I have never used a mold before, but was told to soak it overnight, and dry it. However, they also told me not to butter the mold. The shortbread stuck to the molds, and was ruined. What happened? Should I have buttered the mold? Help!

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Shortbread moulds are traditionally wooden and are still used extensively in England and Scotland. Synthetic materials can also be used.................however the moulds in all cases are dusted with ground rice before pressing in the shortbread. Invert the mould onto a silicone paper covered baking sheet and after baking sprinkle with sugar.

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Shortbread moulds are traditionally wooden and are still used extensively in England and Scotland. Synthetic materials can also be used.................however the moulds in all cases are dusted with ground rice before pressing in  the shortbread. Invert the mould onto a silicone paper covered baking sheet and after baking sprinkle with sugar.

These particular moulds are clay. And does this mean that you don't actually bake the shortbread in the mould? Thanks for your patience!

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The cookie molds are for shaping the dough into a decorative pattern.

This site has some information.

The molds (or moulds) may be made of wood, ceramic, metal and even plastic nowadays.

They are not very satisfactory for baking because the porous material draws moisture from the dough and will cause it to be very fragile.

There are some made for baking which are glazed on the inside but they are rather uncommon.

Springerle are the German cookies made with a rolling mold or pressed into larger wooden molds.

Speculas are the Dutch version.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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ground rice? heresy!

I'm Scottish, and believe me, you'd be risking lynching (or lycheeing, which I assure you is more painful) if you used ground rice north of the border.

Your basic mix is a 3:2:1 mix, by weight, of plain soft flour, butter, and caster (superfine) sugar.

Your butter should be salted, not sweet. This can't be rectified by adding salt to unsalted sweet butter; the "cultured' taste of salted butter is important to the final taste of the shortbread.

Every mould I have seen in Scotland is wooden. My grandmother owns several.

They must be washed with a sparing amount of warm water, and then dried in a low oven. Don't submerge then in water for any time, or they'll warp and go out of shape; it's the same reason you shouldn't submerge a wooden rolling pin.

The completely dry mould should be filled with flour, and the excess knocked out. If you work quickly, and don't press the shortbread paste down excessively hard, it will not stick.

If it does stick, your paste is too soft, usually caused by an excess of butter in your mix. Use the above recipe, and everything should go well.

Use a silcone-covered baking sheet as recommended by confiseur...

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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ground rice?  heresy!

I'm Scottish, and believe me, you'd be risking lynching (or lycheeing, which I assure you is more painful) if you used ground rice north of the border.

Your basic mix is a 3:2:1 mix, by weight, of plain soft flour, butter, and caster (superfine) sugar.

Your butter should be salted, not sweet.  This can't be rectified by adding salt to unsalted sweet butter; the "cultured' taste of salted butter is important to the final taste of the shortbread.

Every mould I have seen in Scotland is wooden.  My grandmother owns several.

They must be washed with a sparing amount of warm water, and then dried in a low oven.  Don't submerge then in water for any time, or they'll warp and go out of shape; it's the same reason you shouldn't submerge a wooden rolling pin.

The completely dry mould should be filled with flour, and the excess knocked out.  If you work quickly, and don't press the shortbread paste down excessively hard, it will not stick.

If it does stick, your paste is too soft, usually caused by an excess of butter in your mix.  Use the above recipe, and everything should go well.

Use a silcone-covered baking sheet as recommended by confiseur...

Thank you for the info - I shall persevere, with what I like to think is typical Scots tenacity. BTW, if you are a current chef, are you not also a current mad scientist? :smile:

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Does anyone have a source for wood molds?

Well, I could wait until my grandmother passes on, I suppose.

Are you looking for US-availability?

And yes, I suppose I still have a bit of the mad scientist in me when I work. :)

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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I've saved a catalog from a company called 'House On The Hill'. Their molds are quite nice looking in their catalog. Although they are made of powdered wood and resin stained to look like real wood......you might find them interesting. I'd guess their prices must be considerably less then a hand carved mold.

They didn't have a website when they published the catalog I have, but probably do by now. You can contact them at houshill@flash.net , p.o. Box 7003 Villa Park, IL 60181, phone is 630-969-2624.

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The cookie molds are for shaping the dough into a decorative pattern.

This site has some information.

The molds (or moulds) may be made of wood, ceramic, metal and even plastic nowadays. 

They are not very satisfactory for baking because the porous material draws moisture from the dough and will cause it to be very fragile.

Thank you - the site was quite informative. On my second attempt, I lightly oiled and floured the moulds, pressed the dough in and chilled it thoroughly. I did indeed bake it in the upper third of the oven, and let the top (when inverted, it became the bottom, of course) get noticeably golden brown. It all turned out beautifully, and I felt a decided pang of pleasureable nostalgia, sice the shortbread both looked and tasted like that of my redoubtable Scottish grandmother's.

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somewhat off-topic, but if I make shortbread in advance, can I freeze the cookies until I need them? or would they be better off in a tin at room temperature? I'd like to make them 1-2 weeks before I need them, if possible

Thanks! :biggrin:

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lexy, shortbread is a cookie that ages well, and one or two weeks is nothing. I age mine for a month or two at room temperature, and they are terrific. That's one reason I love them for gifts: the recipient does not have to consume these cookies right away.

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I've never used the rice flour in shortbread. When I make shortbread I actually make my own powdered sugar in the blender. I form the dough into discs, wrap in plastic, chill for one hour. Then pat out the dough to about 1/2" maintaining disc shape. Place on parchment paper on the underside of a jelly roll pan (sided cookie pan), prick with fork to form six or eight wedges, sprinkle with granulated sugar, if you wish (sometimes I do sometimes not). Bake at 325 for about 17 minutes. Allow to cool a bit, transfer to board and cut through the fork pricks into wedges. One of my favorites, great at holiday time, is to add about a half tsp of crushed rosemary leaves to the dough. Very nice delicate flavor.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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The recipe I use is:

1 cup butter

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp vanilla

bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until just slightly golden brown around the edges

I find that chilling the dough beforehand helps with the spreading.

What - no sugar?

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