In my family, it is part of Christmas tradition to make my grandmother’s version of shortbread. You remember… it’s here, if you want to read about it again.
At this time of year, you don’t want to mess around with tradition. As Jane Grigson said: “In my experience clever food is not appreciated at Christmas. It makes the little ones cry and the old ones nervous.” Not wanting any of that to happen, I made the traditional shortbread recipe. But a little variety is welcome too, otherwise we’d eat the same food again and again and again.
When I saw this recipe, I was so gung-ho to try it I didn’t check to see if I had everything necessary and was already committed to making the cookies before I figured out I didn’t have any maple extract. I used maple syrup instead and ended up with these shortbread which taste not at all like maple but are fantastic anyway.
Next year, I’ll be sure to have the correct ingredients before starting this new addition to my tradition.
What happened this time?
Got all the ingredients – except for the maple extract – out.
Put the butter into the mixing bowl, then added the sugar.
Substituted maple syrup for the maple extract. So as not to upset the ratios in the recipe, I added 1-1/2 teaspoons. The extract would be concentrated and produce a more pronounced maple flavour. Next time!
Beat the butter, sugar and maple syrup in the mixer until it was lighter in coloured and soft.
Got the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch and half a teaspoon of salt) into the bowl.
Mixed all the ingredients together (Eventually, I used my hands).
Pressed the dough into a 9″ square pan and put it into the oven.
After 30 minutes, the edges were browning. A good sign that the shortbread was done.
The top of the shortbread was sprinkled with sugar.
It was easy to cut the shortbread into rectangles while it was still warm.
Here’s the original recipe:
Makes 30 cookies.
A ridiculously light, buttery shortbread scented with maple!
2 sticks + 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/3 cup caster sugar + extra for topping
1-1/2 tsp. maple extract
1-3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease and line an 9″ square baking dish.
Beat together the butter, caster sugar and maple extract until very soft and pale in colour.
Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and stir until a smooth dough forms.
Pat and press the mixture into the baking dish, and smooth the top with a small palette knife.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the shortbread takes on a light golden brown colour. Immediately sprinkle the top of the shortbread with extra sugar and gently shake the tin to coat.
While the shortbread is still warm in the tin, slice it into small rectangles, and then leave to cool completely. Remove the biscuits from the tin when cool, and store in an air tight container.