I have been so excited for this week’s feature. Being a die-hard Anglophile and huge “Princess Di” fan, I was ecstatic when Carolyn Robb, former Royal Chef to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, graciously agreed to be in our second issue of Where Women Cook just in time for the Royal Wedding of William and Kate this Friday. My joy increased when Carolyn emailed her recipe submission for her feature on Amuse Bouche and I found a glorious recipe for shortbread cookies.
Shortbread is my VERY favorite cookie ever and I made a batch that very day. This recipe is fabulous. The cookies turned out perfectly and are so buttery and lovely! I will make this recipe for years to come (and enjoy every single mouthful!)
I love these delicate, buttery, more-ish little morsels! The first time I made them was for my mother to enjoy with her coffee as she spent the day glued to the television watching the last momentous Royal Wedding , (‘Charles and Di’!) Over the years I have tinkered with the ingredients and quantities, now I think I have the perfect formula.
I can’t resist adding my own special touches to a recipe. These little temptations are delicious flavoured with coffee, chocolate, cinnamon sugar, ginger, citrus zest or almond extract. They can be shaped as fingers, rosettes, knots or simple discs. You can sandwich them together with chocolate ganache (milk, dark or white), flavoured butter cream, lemon curd or your favourite conserve. Be careful as the biscuits will lose their crispness with some fillings, so they need to be eaten immediately – which is no hardship! They look divine dipped in or drizzled with chocolate – and that way they make the perfect gift.
Carolyn Robb’s favourite shortbread cookies
- 8oz sweet butter, at room temperature
- 2oz (¼ cup) castor sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 9oz (1 ¾ cups) plain flour
- 2oz (¼ cup rice flour)
- A pinch of fine sea salt
- Cream together the sugar, butter and vanilla extract until they are light and fluffy.
- Sift together and fold in the plain flour, rice flour and salt.
- Fit a piping bag with a medium sized fluted nozzle and fill it with the mixture
- Pipe into straight lengths on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment
- Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before baking
- Bake at 375’F for 12 – 15 minutes. They should be a delicate golden colour
- Leave to cool on the baking tray before removing to a wire rack.
- Once they are completely cold they can be dipped in chocolate or sandwiched together with your favourite filling.
It is tempting to make these in a food processor, but resist the temptation as it has a tendency to over-process the dough, spoiling the lovely light, crisp texture of the shortbread fingers. Either use a hand mixer or a wooden spoon!
It is possible to freeze these before baking them. Freeze them on the baking tray and once they are frozen transfer them to a plastic container. They can be baked from frozen but they make take a couple of minutes longer.
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)