Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jean Bethune’s Scottish Shortbread

This is the shortbread recipe I marked “Fabulous!” on its file card. These tea biscuits have a very, very similar taste to the Peek Frean’s shortbread biscuits sold in grocery stores in North America. They freeze well, too.

Jean Bethune’s Scottish Shortbread:

1 c. berry sugar or “super fine” sugar (see Note)
4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1 lb. (2 c.) butter, softened
About 1/2 c. additional berry sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 250 deg. F. Measure berry sugar and 3 c. of the flour into large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually knead in remaining cup of flour. Continue to knead until dough feels very smooth. This takes only a few minutes. 

Place dough in 12-x15-in. jelly roll pan. Using fingers, press into corners and throughout pan. Placing a piece of parchment paper over dough, smooth with flat hand and fingers. Finish the job with a 12 in. rolling pin, rolling dough to smooth the surface evenly. Sprinkle evenly with super fine sugar. 

Score into 2x1-in. rectangles, prick each with a fork. Sprinkle evenly with berry sugar. Bake 1 hr. or until pale golden. Recut rectangles before shortbread is fully cool. Makes approximately 4 dozen biscuits.

Note: Jean, Dollink, I didn't have a food processor when you gave me this recipe. Today, I would just dump everything into the processor, using the “pulse” setting and the plastic pastry blade, rather than the metal one. And Jean, berry sugar’s expensive. I make my own by buzzing granulated sugar in the blender until it becomes finer. This works extremely well, and saves moolah for such fripperies as paying the electric bill or fueling the family chariot.

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