Easy Dessert: Cinnamon-Pecan Shortbread

November 4, 2010 at 6:42 am 1 comment

Sometimes you want something sweet and crunchy. But you don’t want to spend an hour measuring and mixing in the kitchen. Shortbread to the rescue.  Basic shortbread is three ingredients: flour, sugar and butter.  That’s it.  What you add after that is up to you. (I used unbleached flour and organic cane sugar which results in a little darker color.)

Shortbread is wonderful with tea or coffee.  It’s roots come from the United Kingdom where it’s popular in Great Britain and Scotland during afternoon tea or anytime.

Travel to exotic India and you can find a sweet treat known as “Burfi” that’s mysteriously similar to shortbread.  How can it be shortbread traveled from England to India? The British ruled in India for 150 years until the mid 1940s.  Good foods travel often to faraway places.  By the same token Chicken Curry has migrated back to the UK and become the unofficial “national dish” in Great Britain.

Here’s a basic recipe for shortbread. Beneath the recipe I’ve shared some variations to consider to give you choices. The recipe below makes enough for a 9-inch round or square pan.  I used a tart pan of that size with a fluted edge and a removable bottom.  But you can also use a metal or Pyrex baking pan or dish of that size and cut your shortbread into squares.

Basic Shortbread Recipe:

  • 1-cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2-cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter plus one tablespoon butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the flour and sugar to combine. Add all the butter. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to blend the three basic ingredients together until mixture resembles small peas. If you’re using additional ingredients add them here.  Press into a 9-inch pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let shortbread cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

Additional suggested mix-ins for shortbread:

  • 1/2-teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2/3s cup Nuts (I used pecans this time)
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • 2/3s cup Dried Cranberries
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • 2/3s-cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2-cup sliced Almonds
  • 1/2-cup Crystallized Ginger, chopped
  • 1/2-cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2-cup Crystallized Ginger, chopped
  • 1/2-cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1/2-cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4-cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2-cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4-cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4-teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • grated rind of one Lime
  • 2/3s cup Coconut
  • 1/2-cup, White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2-cup, dried Cranberries

Entry filed under: Adventurous Foodie, Culture Curiosity, Sweet Endings. Tags: , , , .

Turkey, Bacon and Swiss Croissant-wich Kitchen Tools: Using a Pastry Blender

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Crepes of Wrath  |  November 4, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Nice and simple, perfect for the hectic holiday season!


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