Shortbread is one of the easiest butter and richest-tasting pastries to prepare. And you won’t believe how good your kitchen smells when these buttery, herb- and fruit-flecked pastries are in the oven. They are baked in a square pan and cut into small, thick squares instead of the traditional round pan that yields flatter wedges. They come out crumbly on the outside, and dense but yielding on the inside.
This recipe uses rice flour along with regular wheat flour, to give extra tenderness and savor to the finished product. And oh, how it works. Another thing that works here is using a high-fat butter like Organic Valley’s Unsalted European-Style. The Unsalted Cultured Butter also produces excellent results.
For guidelines to preparing shortbread, click here.
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan.
2. Place butter in a large bowl. Use electric beaters at medium speed or a wooden spoon to cream the butter until smooth. Continue beating as you gradually add the sugar and salt. Keep beating until the mixture is light-colored and fluffy-looking, about 2 minutes if you are using electric beaters. Add the egg and mix until smooth.
3. Whisk the flours together in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture in 4 additions, mixing until smooth after each addition. Stir in dried peaches and minced fresh thyme.
4. Spread the dough evenly into the buttered pan, smoothing the top. Bake in the upper third of the oven until shortbread is light golden and almost firm near the center, 35-40 minutes. Let shortbread cool in the pan before cutting it into small squares.
This recipe calls for chopped dried peaches, but you may substitute any dried pitted fruit, such as nectarines, plums or cherries. Chopping dried fruit with a chef’s knife can be a sticky business. Try using kitchen shears to clip the fruit into bits, dipping the scissors into flour occasionally as you go.
Copyright by Terese Allen
Good suggestion! So far we do not have a gluten-free shortbread recipe, but you can find some of our other Gluten Free recipes here.