If You Are Going To Be British...

I think I have made it clear that most of my comfort foods spawn from England. My Grans, the most exquisite cook (She attempted to take a cooking course once, but ended up having to correct the professor on his technique so much she got fed up) probably aided my strong desire to enter the culinary field. But living in Seattle, I have been rather hard pressed to get my hands on the things I desire most, the things that feed my soul as well as my body. I have been searching though, Huskey Deli on California in West Seattle sells my most coveted flake chocolates (by Cadburry), we send my sister over to B.C. on the odd trip to fetch us some tea (I don't know what it is about Seattle but our tea doesn't go off the grocery shelves fast enough and the tea gets a bit stale). But for a true shortbread, I have to rely on myself.

Most of my memories surrounding this little treat are of hard, chalky, stale shortbread sold in tins, rather more bland and tasteless than anything with style and pizazz of the home made variety. I did a bit of research, having never made the stuff before- and decided to go with the recipe I found in The Women's Home Institute Set (the Cakes & Biscuits book specifically) that my Grans had given me when she found out about my love of baking. I actually followed the recipe to the T, can you believe it, and whats more, it came out tender- with just a hint of crumble. I suppose if you are going to make a proper tea biscuit, the best bet is going from the source.
Shortbread (From Women's Home Institute):

This is, as quoted from the book, melt-in-your-mouth.

8 oz butter
4 oz powdered sugar
8 oz A.P. Flour
4 oz Cornstarch
pinch of salt
granulated sugar to top

Cream together butter and sugar, then add in salt, flour & cornstarch in the same way you would make a cookie, though obviously it will be drier and flakier. Press into a greased pan- around 13 inches by 9 and prick with a fork. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes until it begins to get golden color- but be sure not to over bake! Once it is done sprinkle the top with a lovely large amount of sugar until it glistens- and let rest about 15 minutes before you cut it into slices for tea!

My only advice is to make this when you know you have lots of people around to enjoy it because it is far too good to eat just one and you, and your scale, will thank you if you can spread the joy around.


Nerissa said...

I love shortbread so much. I can blushingly admit I've binged a few times on them until I was sick. I'd be afraid to make this recipe as I'd probably binge again. But it REALLY looks good. Maybe if I cook and wear duct tape over my mouth... lol

KJ said...

This looks very simple! I have never made shortbread before. I usually buy Walker's Shortbread because they are made with real butter and natural ingredients. I prefer cookies that are made with whole products. However, this looks like something that would be a joy to make!

Most people don't realize that in the case of coffee and tea, early consumption is advised for both if one desires the flavor to be fresh and at its peak! Once coffee beans are ground, the flavor dissipates rapidly, and it's not too much different for tea.

Keep sharing! Your blog is delightful! I will be trying out this heirloom recipe!

Best Blessings, kj

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Katy said...

Thanks for all the comments :)
I prefer baked goods that come from real ingredients myself KJ, that is why I tend to make most of them myself. I haven't tried walkers brand but maybe I should, this recipe is really easy though and now that I am a poor student I may have to stick to the homemade ones out of lack of funds.

Nerissa, you are too funny. Well I don't want to make you have to binge, perhaps you better wait and try a different recipe instead :)

Tea said...

You might want to check out Dragonwater Tea. It's a Seattle company, husband and wife, small but growing fast it seems. I've only ordered once from them but was very happy with the product (and I like supporting the little guys).


Good luck with school!

Megan-Nell Schosboek said...

How do you measure the ingredients in ounces? Use a scale? I tried to make them, but from lack of proper measuring tools, I made it too dry. I would like to make it again though, and measure it the right way.