Eirinn go brách!
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This very simple recipe makes a delicious shortbread. It's prepared with just three ingredients and when so few ingredients are used, they'd better all be good. The recipe comes from Rachel Gaffney, who is known to be an expert on shortbread, as well as all things Irish. You can find her blog, Rachel Gaffney's Real Ireland, here. She uses unsalted Irish butter to make the shortbread I'm featuring tonight. Irish butter is a European-style butter that has a higher butterfat content than the butter usually found in American kitchens. It has a richer, creamier texture because it is made from pasteurized fermented cream. Most of us use butter made from cream that is pasteurized but not fermented and that distinction explains the difference in flavor. A recipe such as this, relies on the extra flavor provided by the Irish butter. You'll be able to find the butter in most large supermarkets and specialty grocers. This shortbread is very easy to make and I've found it keeps well if stored in an air-tight container. It is wonderful to serve with afternoon tea or coffee and I really think you'll enjoy this buttery treat. The recipe requires no special instructions, so I am going to bite my Irish tongue and let it speak for itself. Here is how the shortbread is made.
Irish Butter Shortbread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Rachel Gaffney
1 cup (2 sticks) Irish unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour + flour for work surface
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2) Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour. Continue mixing until dough comes together to form a ball.
3) Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it out dough to about 1/4-inch thickness, dusting rolling pin with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Using a 2 1/4-inch round, fluted cutter, cut out dough. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. Gather up any scraps, gently re-roll, and repeat cutting process. Take care not to overwork dough.
4) Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake until shortbread just begins to turn golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
Due to its high fat content, Irish butter only needs a few minutes to come to room temperature. It is best when used 15 minutes after removing from the refrigerator.
Shortbread may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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