My wonderful mum in law’s shortbread recipe

Some recipes can be a “blank canvas”, ready for you to add your personal touch and experiment.

It is World Kindness Day today, so I thought what better random act of kindness than to share a recipe that is very dear to me for three reasons:
A. it is my Scottish mum in law’s, who was a person that was always so kind to everyone
B. it is so incredibly easy to make and more importantly, to remember by heart
C. it tastes great

So here it is, just remember 200, 200, 100, 100 the magic weight in grams of flour, butter (of course, none of this margarine stuff), sugar (caster), corn flour. These quantities will make about 40 small pieces.

That’s it. Only four ingredients ! Well actually …if you feel a bit adventurous…

Put all ingredients in one bowl and gently rub them together. It’s very quick and you don’t need any utensils, just your hands. It is very therapeutic having all these ingredients going through your fingers. Gradually, as if by magic they turn from a crumble into a lovely soft dough. DO NOT work the dough , you are not making bread. The gluten needs to stay as underdeveloped as possible.

At this point you can take this very old recipe spread it in a baking tray and make shortbread.
But what is the fun in that? The role of any product developer is to try a few what if’s (see a previous post of mine with an extract from a great food film).
This recipe is like a blank canvas. So “what if these ingredients were also added” :

I added one tsp of fennel seeds and the same of ground cardamom and half a tsp of caraway seeds.
Gently press the dough in a baking tin, about 1 cm thick, then use a fork to open some ventilation holes for the steam and bake for at least 40min, I go for 140C in the middle of a fan assisted oven.
When you take it out of the oven, cut it into pieces while still in the tin and sprinkle with some caster sugar, or apply the “what if” principle and use sugar infused with spice.

Cut into 2.5 x 2.5 cm pieces

The role of any product developer is to try a few “what if’s“. Some recipes lend themselves for experimentation.

#shortbread #worldkindnessday #productdevelopment #foodtechnology

Published by Valia Christidou

I have worked with, enjoyed, created and loved food all my life.

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