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Not Nanna’s Shortbread

June 12, 2013

Not quite shortbread!

Not quite shortbread!

I love shortbread! It has to be really good, buttery shortbread with a grainy texture and short, crumbly texture. I miss it. A lot. Nothing beats a cup of tea and piece of chocolate, chased by some yummy homemade shortbread.

A true shortbread is traditionally made from one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour by weight. The recipe I use is from my Nanna and is still in pounds & ounces. To help give it a nuttier “bitey-er” (is there such a word?) she added rice flour to the mix. Sorry – this ain’t her recipe, it remains a secret!

Shortbread is so named because of its crumbly texture from an old meaning of the word short. The cause of this texture is its high fat content, provided by the butter. The crumbly texture is a result of the fat inhibiting the formation of long protein (gluten) strands. The related word “shortening” refers to any fat that may be added to produce a “short” (crumbly) texture.

Now that I have you interested in shortbread, this recipe isn’t quite at the shortbread mark but it is a pleasant dry & short biscuit, great for cups of tea and eating with chocolate! Or dunking in hot chocolate!

This recipe can be made vegan – substitute the butter for all coconut oil, dairy free, egg-free and possibly nut-free.

To keep things interesting, I have added nutmeg as a flavour. Cardamon would work well too, or you could just make it plain.

1/2 of a whole nutmeg or 1 teas cardamon seeds
1 tab linseeds
1 tab water
120g buckwheat
50g almonds*
1/8 teas guar gum
1 teas baking powder
50g rice syrup or honey
1/2 teas stevia powder
60g butter (or coconut oil)
50g coconut oil
3 tabs rice flour
generous pinch of salt
 
Mill the nutmeg (or cardamom) with the linseeds for 1 minute on SP 10. Mix with the 1 tab of water and set aside.
Mill the buckwheat and almonds for 40 seconds on SP 9. Add the rest of the ingredients including the linseed mix and blend on SP 6 for 15 seconds or until just combined. Try not to over process or you will sweat the butter and coconut oil.
 
Press into a 7 x 11 tray and score into fingers. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. It will colour quite easily, so keep an eye on it. Remove from the oven and carefully cut along the score marks and gently separate the pieces. Bake for a further 5 minutes and then turn the oven off and leave to cool.
 
This helps dry the biscuits out and make them crunchy and “short”. Serve with tea or coffee or crumble over yoghurt & fruit for an easy dessert.
 
*Or 160g buckwheat if nut free
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