Happy Saint Patrick’s Day
May the dreams you hold dearest,
be those that come true,
the kindness you spread,
keep returning to you.
Shortbread is traditionally associated with Scotland, but with all the terrific butter in Ireland, why confine it to one country? This recipe comes from Kerrygold, who provided this recipe for shortbread, which I’ve adapted.
I had never had Irish butter before my trip to Ireland and I can honestly say it is really lovely butter, with a pronounced dairy taste. Since shortbread has a lot of butter in it, be sure to use a good quality butter, Kerry Gold is available almost everywhere now or at least the best you can get no matter where you live.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces Kerry Gold Butter of course or best-quality salted butter, cubed and chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF
2. Lightly butter a 9-inch tart ring or springform pan with a removable bottom
(I used an open tart ring placed on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper)
3. Whisk together the flour, corn starch, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer
4. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture starts coming together in clumps
5. Add the vanilla and continue to mix until the dough forms solid clumps
6. Use the heel of you hand to press the dough evenly into the tart pan. (If using a springform pan, you can use the bottom of a glass to tamp it evenly into the pan. A sprinkle of flour or confectioners sugar may be needed if it’s sticking too much) You want the top to be a smooth as possible.
7. With a sharp knife, score the shortbread into twelve even wedges and prick each wedge three time with the tines of a fork
(Note: When I baked these at home, using French butter, both the score marks and the tines disappeared. So be aware that that’s something that might happen. If so, just continue on and cut the shortbread as directed in the next step)
8. Bake the shortbread for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the top is light golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately use a sharp knife to cut completely through the dough, where you previously marked it, into wedges. Let the shortbread cool completely in the pan. Once cool remove the outer ring of the tart (or springform) pan, and separate the wedges
Storage: Shortbread will keep for up to one week in an airtight container. It can also be frozen, if well-wrapped, for up to two months.
Recipe Notes: The original recipe said that if using salted butter, reduce the amount of salt to 1/8 teaspoon. But I like the taste of salt and salted butter, so I used the quantities listed in the recipe. If you wish, you can follow their guidelines.
Rice flour are often used as a substitute for corn starch. I have tried both and the rice flour makes a crisper cookie.