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Shortbread


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1 hour ago, jimb0 said:

i had that thought too but while it would be delicious it surely would have a much different texture no?

 

Potentially - you'd have to play around with it. In a bonbon, I'm not sure how much texture (apart from generic crunch) would actually come through...

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@jmacnaughtan, others on eG have mentioned making a pipeable layer with crushed gingersnaps or graham crackers, and I have experimented with that concept.  You are certainly correct that it takes some "playing around" to get the right mix of the crushed item and whatever holds it together.  Cocoa butter and the crushed cookie tasted horrible; chocolate tended to cause the layer to lose its crunch.  Most recently I tried @Rajala's idea for a gingersnap bonbon.  It calls for partially crushing gingersnaps and adding chocolate, ghee, and coconut oil, but my attempt lost the crunch (I finally made gingersnaps instead, and the resulting filling was delicious).  After my experiments, I concluded that a "praliné layer" (as it is called by some) does not come close enough for me to the crunch of a cookie.  It is an idea certainly worth more experimentation because it is so much easier to pipe in a layer rather than add a cookie plus a "moisture barrier."

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44 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

@jmacnaughtan, others on eG have mentioned making a pipeable layer with crushed gingersnaps or graham crackers, and I have experimented with that concept.  You are certainly correct that it takes some "playing around" to get the right mix of the crushed item and whatever holds it together.  Cocoa butter and the crushed cookie tasted horrible; chocolate tended to cause the layer to lose its crunch.  Most recently I tried @Rajala's idea for a gingersnap bonbon.  It calls for partially crushing gingersnaps and adding chocolate, ghee, and coconut oil, but my attempt lost the crunch (I finally made gingersnaps instead, and the resulting filling was delicious).  After my experiments, I concluded that a "praliné layer" (as it is called by some) does not come close enough for me to the crunch of a cookie.  It is an idea certainly worth more experimentation because it is so much easier to pipe in a layer rather than add a cookie plus a "moisture barrier."

 

ah i remember us discussing this at another juncture.

 

perhaps it's worth looking at the concept ab initio. instead of taking what amounts to a pre-made cookie (even if you're the one pre-making it) and modifying, deconstructing, or otherwise processing it to fit the need at hand, what about creating a product that gives the impression of a cookie and can be directly used in something like a bonbon? i use milk crumbs a lot, and while i've never put one in a bonbon, i think it might work. it's basically just mixing together flour, sugar, milk powder, and melted butter, and some salt. then you bake it until golden brown, add melted white chocolate, and some more milk powder, and stir every ten minutes or so until you end up with a bowl of coated, pea-sized cookie crumbs. i think they taste pretty great, to be honest, and they'd already be protected against water. they don't stick to each other and last forever in a bag in the fridge.

 

callebaut also makes crispearls, which i think could serve a similar purpose, but the diy crumbs will taste better.

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2 hours ago, Jim D. said:

@jmacnaughtan, others on eG have mentioned making a pipeable layer with crushed gingersnaps or graham crackers, and I have experimented with that concept.  You are certainly correct that it takes some "playing around" to get the right mix of the crushed item and whatever holds it together.  Cocoa butter and the crushed cookie tasted horrible; chocolate tended to cause the layer to lose its crunch.  Most recently I tried @Rajala's idea for a gingersnap bonbon.  It calls for partially crushing gingersnaps and adding chocolate, ghee, and coconut oil, but my attempt lost the crunch (I finally made gingersnaps instead, and the resulting filling was delicious).  After my experiments, I concluded that a "praliné layer" (as it is called by some) does not come close enough for me to the crunch of a cookie.  It is an idea certainly worth more experimentation because it is so much easier to pipe in a layer rather than add a cookie plus a "moisture barrier."

 

Yeah, the thing I did isn't like a complete crunchy element, but more a little crunchy texture.

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On 2/1/2021 at 6:44 PM, Jim D. said:

@kriirk, earlier in this thread, in your discussion of the NYT shortbread recipe, you stated that one should not make rounds from it:  "Please also note that low flour content means non-suitable for making 'rounds.'"

 

Can you explain why this is true?  I ask because I often make round cookies from shortbread and have had some difficulty with them and am always looking for a solution.

 

 

Sure. Only the flour provides structure/shape in this recipe. Without enough flour, the dough becomes liquid at some point as heat rises, and the 'round' will flatten and look more like a small pool.

 

Edit - looking at your photo, it looks more like the cause was air bubbles inside the dough.

Edited by kriirk (log)
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6 hours ago, kriirk said:

 looking at your photo, it looks more like the cause was air bubbles inside the dough.

 

Perhaps I should not use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar to start--although doing it by hand does not sound like an easy task (yes, I do know electric mixers have not always existed!).  But why would the "crater" effect not happen with larger pieces made from the same dough?

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soft doughs in "pans" always rise fast/quicker/more around the edges.

makes common sense - that's where the heat is.....

is is also not at all uncommon for doughs to "rise up then sink" as they finish cooking / and or cool.

except that around the edges, doughs may stick to the walls.  an issue noted in souffles, for example - butter/sugar the wall of the pan/pot so the souffle can more easily "climb" . . .

 

multiple xxxxx-berry buckles and xxxx-fruit cobblers exhibit that behavior.  if I don't turn back the oven temp when the edges are set  to a

'pretty& browned' stage - the middle eventually gets done but the edges wind up burnt/dry/crispy/un-nice.....

 

the mini-craters on the bottom is likely due to water content in butter in / near directly in contact with the baking surface aka pan/sheet/stone....

the water "explodes" when turning to steam and makes a hole....

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soften the butter, don't cream for as long or at a high speed, and try using a perforated sheet pan lined with parchment to bake the cookies.  I don't know that this would work but when baking puff pastry and you want it to stay flat,  you bake it between sheet pans (have parchment under and on top of your dough when baking) so it's worth a try.

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  • 9 months later...

Having recently committed to shortbread this year with first a short list of recipes, and now a list of 8-10---having a less sugar loving family...I'm completely spooked reading through these pages. 😂.

I'm screwed.

At least I'm among a company of failures. 

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20 hours ago, Annie_H said:

Having recently committed to shortbread this year with first a short list of recipes, and now a list of 8-10---having a less sugar loving family...I'm completely spooked reading through these pages. 😂.

I'm screwed.

At least I'm among a company of failures. 

 

If your audience is open to something a little non-traditional, I can vouch for Deb Perelman's Olive Oil Shortbread with Rosemary & Chocolate Chunks.  I've made it many times I think it's pretty foolproof.  I like to add orange zest.  Lemon zest, rosemary and dry-cured black olives make it into a nice cocktail cookie.   I've also played around subbing in nuts instead of the chocolate (pistachio is quite nice) using different herbs, etc. Never had a failure.  

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2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

If your audience is open to something a little non-traditional, I can vouch for Deb Perelman's Olive Oil Shortbread with Rosemary & Chocolate Chunks.

That looks really good. My list to try are all rolled and sliced. I have all the ingredients needed but keep getting side-tracked when I find a weekend chunk of time. I need to freeze to have some frozen rolls to gift. Might be over my head but we shall see. I usually make savory crackers and gift 'kits' with a small bag of baked crackers or flatbreads. 

I'll post the links and successes as I go. This was the first recipe that got me hooked on the idea. 

Claire Saffitz Brown Butter Sage Sables

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  • 4 months later...

Happy Easter! 🐣😀

Perfection is very hard to improve on, and basic shortbread is very close to perfect in my opinion.

But one thing I tried in the past, was adding a bit more salt. I was sadly not able to taste much difference, so this time I wish to try salt sprinkled on top instead. I think it ought to stick if added quickly out of the oven, and prior to sprinkling any sugar. I don't have any salt flakes at the moment, so think I will lightly crush some coarse sea salt. As always very interested to hear your thoughts.

(This is semi-related to my intrigue for very old recipes. From what I read, butter used to have a much higher salt content. I was going to say it is 1.6%, but I just double checked and to my surprise they have reduced it again. It now sits at 1.1% here in Norway.)

 

---

 

Edit/result:
-Firstly, can we take a moment to appreciate how quick this bake is. Prep time until in oven, including washing up, was only 25min! (Tip - if your butter is fridge cold, just use a cheese cutter into a bowl resting in warm water. It will be perfect for hand mixer by the time you measure/add the sugar.)
-Salt sprinkle was a success in my personal opinion. The others seemed to like it too! I wonder if I could have used even coarser salt, and perhaps added it pre-baking.
-They started selling Walkers Shortbread here, so we tried a bit of that for comparison. We prefer the low flour recipe bottom pg.6, so It was far too dry for our taste. Perhaps better if dunked in tea. (Also, the price tag was astronomical here in Norway.)

Edited by kriirk (log)
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  • 9 months later...
On 2/1/2021 at 10:31 AM, kriirk said:

Briefly on the history of the shortbread recipe

 

First published recipe for "short bread", based on web archives, is from the book Cookery and Pastry By Susanna MacIver, Edinburgh 1773:.. /SNIP/...and strew white carvy on the top;

I am a big fan of Newfoundland traditional food channel Bonita's Kitchen.

Nice to see they have a biscuit there that is so close to the first published shortbread recipe.

 

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Just stumbled on this topic. Shortbread is one of my absolute favorite cookies. My go-to shortbread recipe comes from Food 52, which has a recipe that is from Bien Cuit. It requires an overnight stay in the fridge before baking. I tend to bake it on the longer end of the range given in the recipe because I like the slight caramel notes it picks up when taken to a slightly darker golden brown. When I have it, I use European butter. It is not a very sweet shortbread, which is a big plus for me, and I push it a little further into the savory with my own variation, adding a little finely chopped fresh rosemary to the dough, and a little sea salt in addition to the sugar on top, and sometimes using salted butter (in which case I cut back on the added salt).

 

Bien Cuit Shortbread

Ingredients:
302 grams unsalted butter
93 grams confectioners' sugar
3.5 grams kosher salt
302 grams all-purpose flour
1/8 cup regular or raw sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:
Cut the cold butter and reserve at room temperature to temper slightly. Line a 13x9-inch baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper.
Mix the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and flour in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a few seconds to combine the dry ingredients.
Add the cubed butter and mix on low speed until a smooth dough is formed and butter is fully incorporated. At first, the dough will look extremely flaky and dry; let it keep mixing and it will eventually come together into a dough.
Dump the dough into the baking sheet ordish and spread it evenly to the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
The next day, heat the oven to 300°F. Dock the dough every inch or so with a fork. Bake until the shortbread is golden brown, 60-75 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn the shortbread out onto a cutting board, and slice into 4-inch x ¾-inch slices. Sprinkle with raw sugar and transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Source: https://food52.com/recipes/81249-bien-cuit-shortbread
 

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