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Christopher Greaves

Shortbread Cookies

NOTE: This is an adaptation of a recipe that appeared in The Toronto Star Monday, December 02, 2013 in their Cookie Calendar section

This is my first time EVER at making shortbread, so be gentle with me.

There just can’t be a simpler ingredient list than this:

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There you go! A one-pound (454 grams) brick of butter is two cups. My white flour is kept in an ice-cream tub. Icing sugar comes from a jar.

My old measuring jug is a one-cup measure.

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Here I have sliced the butter in half. I am no longer a consumer of butter, so I had to look for it in the supermarket, but since it is the first time with this recipe I decided to follow the instructions as much as possible.

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I have sliced the cup of butter into about a dozen pieces and popped it into my bread mixer, which has a pretty well-geared motor to drive the paddle.

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Add the icing sugar and flour, start ‘er up, and quickly place a plastic lid (from an ice-cream tub) over the tub otherwise the area will be showered with explosive puffs of fine powder.

Four minutes later we have a fluffy mess of buttered sugar-flour!

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It came to 1˝ pounds on the kitchen scale; yes, I have it sitting on the plastic lid of another tub of ice-cream.

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I took about half the mixture, hand-rolled it into balls, and placed the balls on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray.

The remainder of the mixture is placed in a clear-plastic lidded tub, destined for the refrigerator.

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I put my foot down at getting my wine-bottle rolling-pin dirty, and put the palm of my hand down instead. That also saved me washing up the cookie cutters which, being stripped-down tuna cans, are way too big.

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Here’s the twelve or so ounces of mixture waiting to be refrigerated.

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I baked at what I thought was 350° for thirteen minutes, but even the parchment paper came out charred.

The front row look alright, but the back row look like Crispy Critters.

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Here is part of the problem: I’d set the oven to close on 400°; next time a lower temperature and a shorter time, I promise.

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Here we are cooling off and solidifying for ten minutes.

It strikes me that one could mould them into shapes if one was quick; maybe wrap them around a broom handle a la Brandy Snaps.

Brandy Snaps! Now there’s something I haven’t made in a while!


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Toronto, Friday, December 30, 2016 12:45 PM

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