Comments: The Best Shortbread in the World

Comments

Thanks for the shortbread tip. I would have added a bit of water (as one does for pate brisee) and it wouldn't have turned out as well.

As a proud mother, I'd also like to point out that these shortbreads were the catalyst for a new word in his vocabulary: GOOKIE!!! Yes, he already liked cookies but had not yet found one he liked so much it was worth asking for by name. And it's a bit ironic that he came up with this word for an English "biscuit"...to the amusement of his mother and chagrin of his dad!

Bravo Steve! I hope I may sample them when I next come to Paris.

International snooker star and chef par excellence - is there no end to The Critic's talents?

Good writing runs in both sides of the family...The Boy is bound to become a writer!
Enjoyed this nostaglic piece & would love to try to recipe. Just want to be sure that cornflour = corn starch and caster sugar is what we Yanks call granulated sugar.
Thanks!

Taina, yes cornflour is the same as corn starch. I think here in France it's known as Maizena (though that may be the brand name?).

The English (and French) seem to have two grades of sugar where we Americans only have one to my knowledge. Caster sugar is "sucre en poudre" in France, but I think you can just use "normal" American sugar. The Critic tells me it's slightly more finely ground than crystal sugar, but nowhere near as fine as powdered sugar (US)/icing sugar (UK). All very confusing, no?

And as for the flour (a French friend asked me at dinner about it recently!) he used the Monoprix bio flour, which I am told is a) closest to US flour and b) similar to French type 65.

Whew!

Thank you for the recipe. I don't know how I found this, but I just made it and it was very good. Just to be clear on the measurements - you measured by weighing these ingredients, yes? And it would be incorrect to replicate this recipe using a standard fluid oz = cups conversion, as the weights of the ingredients are all different?

Thanks in advance for the clarification :)

Brynn, sorry I just saw this question! Yes, the measurements are all weight, not volume. You'll need a scale to measure because, as you noted, different ingredients have different weights at the same volume. Hope that helps, even if it is a few months too late!

When I was in the third grade (Cleveland Ohio USA) we had a teacher from Scotland who took the entire class to the school kitchen and baked a huge pan of shortbread. I was hooked. I am now 61 years old and still love shortbread. My recipe is simple for one batch. 1 pound of real salted butter softened...1 cup regular sugar...1 teaspoon vanilla...4 cups all purpose flour...mix butter, sugar, vanilla and slowly add flour...press into a pan 1/2 inche thick, make fork dents in top..bake at 325 for about 1/2 hour or until litely golden on top..do not over bake...as soon as you take them out of the oven cut them into finger long shapes, 1" by 3" if you wait till they cool they will crumble. I get raves on them and requests at every bake sale and cook out. They melt in your mouth. Powdered sugar on top optional. I always double the recipe.

Thank you for sharing this recipe - I am going to make it for this Christmas to include in our tins of cookies for gifts :) All the best,

Daryl

This recipe sounds great! But i'm wondering if it would still be as good if I made them into small rounds. (rolled into 1/2 inch ballls and flattened with my thumb) Will the shape affect the quality of the shortbread?

Walker's Shortbread comes in several shapes with the same taste so my guess is that the shape makes no difference.

Personally, I would use a round cutter rather than moulding them by hand - that way you will ensure an even thickness throughout each biscuit.

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