Thursday, 23 December 2010

Whipped Shortbread, Plain & Cocoa

My aunt used to make these, and I don't remember that hers spread all over the pan. Mine do tend to, even though I freeze them first before I bake them. Not too sure what I am doing wrong, but probably I need to up the starch or flour a little bit. However, these are still very, very tasty and the texture is terrific. They are better after they have sat for a day or two.

Mostly these are made in the white version but I wondered how cocoa - which is starchy, after all - would do in place of the arrowroot. Even better is the answer, I would say. I mean, c'mon; they're chocolate. I like these because even though they are killer rich they are not too sweet.

Anyway, on this note, Christmas is almost upon us and with it comes large numbers of relatives staying for the weekend. I am going to take some time off from the blog. Back in a week or so. Hope you all have great holidays and are able to start the new year in a relaxed and restored fashion.

30 to 42 cookies
1 1/2 hours - 30 minutes prep time

1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups unbleached pastry flour
1/3 cup arrowroot or cocoa
a pinch of salt

Leave the butter out in a warm room for at least an hour to soften - you want it to be really quite soft.

Put it in a large, deep mixing bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; several minutes. Add the icing sugar and beat it in well, then the flavour extract and beat again. The butter should be really very light.

Measure the flour and arrowroot or cocoa and add the salt. Stir them together, then beat them into the butter half at a time. It will seem like too much flour, and a certain amount will fly around. (That's why you want a really deep mixing bowl.) When the flour is completely amalgamated, continue beating the dough for another couple of minutes until very light.

Scoop the dough out by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Keep the cookies fairly well apart as they may spread. Put each sheet of prepared cookies into the freezer for about 20 minutes, until quite frozen.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, until just a little coloured around the bottoms. Let cool then remove from the tray. Hopefully they have not completely flattened out. But they will be very tasty, regardless.

I made both kinds and made the plain ones first, then made the cocoa ones without needing to wash anything in between times, which was convenient.

I find the cocoa version holds up better than the arrowroot version. Possibly I should be putting in a little more arrowroot; 1/2 cup maybe instead of 1/3 cup. I'm not trying that now though; going to eat this batch of cookies first. There's enough cookies in the house to choke a horse right now.


Marnie said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you! Thanks for all your work on this blog. I always enjoy reading it.

Ferdzy said...

I hope you have the same, Marnie! Thanks for reading; much appreciated.

Michael said...

I made these last night, and find that they didn't nearly spread as much. Maybe it had to do with how much whipping the butter takes.

Nonetheless, they were delicious! Absolutely melt in your mouth.

I'm a foodie that's been following your blog for a while. Keep it up!

Ferdzy said...

Ah, Michael, that's good to hear. Did you make the chocolate ones, or the plain ones?

Michael said...

I made the chocolate. I didn't have enough confectioner's sugar, so I added some plain sugar with a couple of spoonfuls of extra cornstarch (maybe that made the difference?)

Ferdzy said...

Yes, that would make a difference, also the cocoa ones don't spread as much as the plain. Thanks for letting me know.