Monday, February 15, 2010

Last week's shortbread.....a little late....

It was thunderstorming in LA and I wanted to have a proper tea with my good pal CCA and by extension, the Baby J. After forcing her to make me and the tiny dude some lunch, I thought I might make a pain of myself and cook up some shortbread. Just writing about it makes me want to make more....maybe in a sec. I might be shot if I don't make this entry.

So I stole some ideas from the interwebs and decided Smitten Kitchen as stolen from Alice Medrich was the best idea. Of course, I didn't read very well and missed the whole part about resting the dough for two hours. And I might have been able to guess it was more labor intensive than its 5 ingredients would lead one to believe if I had looked at the title, "Twice Baked Shortbread".....we were starving by the time all this was finished but it was worth it!

Twice-Baked Shortbread
Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I misread this, too and added a full tablespoon....but it was still delicious, if a little brown)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
Turbinado, Demerara or granulated sugar for sprinkling

Equipment: A baking pan with a removable bottom, such as a 9 1/2-inch round or a 4 by 14-inch rectangular fluted tart pan, or a one-piece 8-inch square pan

(We did this and it came out fine.)
If using a pan with a removable bottom, grease the pan; if using the one-piece 8-inch pan, line it with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla of your choice, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight (no need to refrigerate).

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the shortbread from the pan, being careful to avoid breaking it. Use a thin sharp knife to cut it into oblong “fingers”, wedges, or squares. Place the pieces slightly apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

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