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Wednesday
Dec012010

butter-toffee crunch shortbread cookies

This was my first time doing "official" shortbread. I've done a pecan pie bar from the Buttercup Bakes at Home book that had a shortbread crust that was very sweet and pretty yummy. 

This was better. Buttery and butterscotchy, with tiny toffee chunks that kind of melded with the batter.

Lately, I've been getting into recipes that call for flour alternatives, like ground nuts or oatmeal, or, in this case, rice flour.

I've only used rice flour twice. Once, in a very sad coconut bibingka that flopped (hard) and this...a 3-sticks-of-butter batch of deliciousness.

The recipe, from Regan Daley's In the Sweet Kitchen, was simple -- lengthy -- but simple. And the results were awesome. So far, I've tried only two recipes from Daley's book -- a fair-sized beast, half baker's bible, half intricately detailed recipe collection -- the shortbread and a dark sticky apple cake with a warm brandy sauce that was equally awesome.

Normally, I'm all about chewy-fudgy-underbaked goodness, but I loved these crunchy cookies. Actually, I only really liked the cookies the first day.

About thirty-six hours later, I loved them...all of them.

Butter-Toffee Crunch Shortbread

from In the Sweet Kitchen, by Regan Daley

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup rice flour, or substitute cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or about 3/4 tsp. kosher salt)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar or fruit sugar
  • 6 tablespoons tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup miniature butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup English toffee pieces, such as Skor or Heath bits

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of a 9X13 metal baking pan, line with parchment and butter paper.

Sift both flours and salt together, set aside.

Beat butter with mixer until smooth. Slowly add the sugars and cream the mixture until it is very light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, incorporating each addition well. Knead the final portion of flour mixture into the dough with fingers, keeping palms off of the dough to avoid making the dough oily.

After the flour is fully blended, knead in the butterscotch and toffee bits until evenly distributed.

Press dough firmly into pan and smooth surface. Prick the dough in several places with a fork. Bake for about 45 minutes, then prick the dough again to release trapped air. Return pan to oven for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown and the center is just firm.

Cool pan on wire rack for 7 to 8 minutes, run knife around edges, then cut into bars while it is still warm. Make two long cuts down length of pan, dividing shortbread into three rectangles. Cut rectangles into about 3/4 inch wide fingers, wiping knife between each cut.

Allow cookies to cool in pan completely, then re-cut and transfer to airtight containers.

The shortbread can be frozen before you bake. After dough is pressed into pan, wrap in plastic and foil, thaw wrapped pan overnight in refrigerator and bake directly from refrigerator. Increase cooking time by a few minutes to compensate for chilled dough.

To freeze the baked cookies, place in airtight containers, layering cookies between parchment or wax paper, then wrap entire container in foil. Thaw wrapped package at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours.

Note: These were terrific agers. I truly thought they were better the next day.

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Reader Comments (1)

[...] This cake and its caramel sauce come from Regan Daley, baker of one of my favorite crunchy cookies – the butter-toffee crunch shortbread cookies. [...]

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