Cookies 1: Shortbread

2007-04-12

ShortbreadAfter a brief hiatus from classes, I decided to take another course needed for the Bakery Arts Diploma. Wednesday night's class is being taught by a woman who's been a pastry chef at the Metropolitan Hotel for over a dozen years. She seemed to know the large majority of all the students who bantered with her throughout the night. After a brief introduction to the tools we would need, a discussion of cookies (the six types, characteristics, troubleshooting), we got started on baking.

We made an easy recipe this week, shortbread, which has just four ingredients: butter, bread flour, rice flour and icing sugar. Our butter was still quite cold, so it took a while to cream it with the sugar, and made a stiff dough after the flours were added. However, it was still nice to work with, soft and pliable. We shaped it into small balls, rolled them about a half inch thick, then traced a 7" circle out. Using a knife, we scored the dough into wedges, docked them with a cake comb, and made a decorative edge (I used the outside of a fluted cookie cutter).

These cookies were melt-in-your-mouth tender, but they're not really a favourite of mine. I was surprised we didn't use any additional flavourings (like lemon or vanilla) but sometimes simple can be tasty too.

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