Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Grandma's Sliced Shortbread Cookies

My English Grandma always made sliced shortbreads. There were no other kind of shortbreads at her house. She emigrated to Canada after the First World War. She was from a tiny village in Cumbria that was fondly called Little Ireland. The locals have a bit of an Irish lilt to their speech.
I hope you will enjoy her recipe!

Cream 2 cups butter (I use salted butter)
Add 1 1/4 cups of powdered icing sugar and cream well again
Add 1/2 cup powdered cornstarch and cream again
Add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and cream in again
Add  3 1/2 cups of flour (one cup at a time and mix together well). Batter will be a bit stiff.

Divide mixture into 4 or 5 balls and place in a bowl with a teatowel over top.

Take out one ball and place it on a piece or tin foil or plastic wrap and roll it slowly back and forth with your hands,until it forms a log shape. I made mine about the size of a Canadian quarter this year. Other years I have gone a wide as a Loonie.

I use tin foil as my girls are into recycling and are against additives and chemicals etc, so they would not want the plastic wrap on their food! Once you have the log shape even enough to suit yourself, then smooth the tinfoil slightly around it and place on a cookie sheet. Continue with each of the remaining balls till you have 4 or 5 tinfoil covered logs on your cookie sheet. You can see I have 2 logs rolled already and in the first photo above, there were 3 balls left to roll)

Place in the fridge for about an hour or longer. Once firmed up in the fridge, remove a log at a time and slice them into cookies. I like to slice all at once as I get a rhythm going and I am more likely to get them fairly close to the same size. I was not as fussy today as usual as I am still over tired.

Once sliced, you will notice that there are some little edges that look a bit ragged where the knife may not have slid through cleanly. You can see them in the photo above...If that happens, I take that cookie slice and roll it slightly as if I was rolling a quarter across the cutting board. Just a soft roll about half an inch forward and all the raggedy edges would be hidden...except now the top is a bit  very lightly pounce it on the board to flatten the top even.

I did warn you that these cookies were longer to make than the Melting Moments on my earlier post!
You are almost done! Place them one by one on a cookie sheet. I got 35 on my cookie sheet on my last batch...they are in the oven as we speak!

 Take a luncheon sized fork and lightly press the tines into your cookie tops. This will prevent them from cracking.

Bake 300 to 325 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Here are the finished cookies...after all that work I did to get them even, the tops reverted back to raised edges from rolling them like a quarter!!! They don't usually do that but que sera, sera!


Barbara said...

Yum! I love shortbread.

Craftin Suzie (Susan Flynn) said...

Mmmm yummy Maureen I think I can smell them here! Susan x

brenda said...

They look delicious Maureen - the sort that just melt in your mouth.

B x

Carol L said...

I love shortbread, and I've been waiting for this recipe from you! I've got to try this, thanks for posting! I've never seen shortbread done like this before but they look just yummy! TFS!!

Mrs A. said...

These look absolutely yummy. Call me thick but I never realised the fork marks were to stop them cracking. I thought it was just a pattern all shortbreads had!!!!
Now if you could just look away from the screen for a mo whilst I help myself. Ta ever so!!
Hugs Mrs A.
ps. Yum.yum.

Sandy said...

Yum - these look wonderful!! Thanks for the recipe and I hope you have a very Merry and delicious Christmas!

May said...

I Love shortbread These look yummy...My Mum always added ground rice...But I am going to try your recipe next time....Hugs May x x x

Christine Harrop said...

Two great recipes Maureen. And you have reminded me of time living and working in the Lake District. Ah, happy days - especially since that is where I met John! Love and hugs Christine xx

Redanne said...

Oooh, they do look nice and like Mrs A. I did not know the fork marks were to stop cracking either, we learn something new every day.... I bet they were much enjoyed! Festive hugs, Anne x

Carol said...

These look yummy Maureen. Carol x

Brenda Brown said...

Oooh might have to try these, they look scrummy. TFS.
hugs {brenda} x0x

Karen Petitt said...

These recipes are making me hungry Mo. Thanks for sharing them with us, I might see if I have time to make some shortbread next week, it's been ages since I baked some, just love the stuff xx

Hettie said...

OOOOO! Fankoo Honey.

Merry said...

These look so yum...thanks for sharing the recipe.

Pat said...

This shortbread looks great. In the past I have made shortbread in a round tin, but I think this is a good way of making it. I think I remember my mother making it like this. These days I tend not to bake much because there are only two of us to eat it.