Any Scottish readers out there? Your American Crafty Cook Nook blogging buddy tried her hand at shortbread again this week, and they were hit not only with my American taste testers but also with my one British friend in Denver.
Shortbread is said to have originated in Scotland, though it’s now ubiquitous in England and abroad. On this side of the pond, shortbread translates to “cookie.” We salt-of-the-earth Americans reserve “biscuit” for the savory bread served during breakfast and supper.
I’ve eaten plenty of shortbread, usually during Christmas, but those cookies have arrived straight from the grocery store shelf. Dunked in my tea or coffee, I was content. Little did I know until I made shortbread from scratch this spring that they taste even better when eaten the day they are baked. Like the Thai banana dessert I posted this Wednesday, shortbread loses its top-notch flavor and texture once it’s aged.
Below you’ll find an American take on the unleavened and oh-so-buttery shortbread recipe. These coffee-cardamom cookies blend hints of Turkish coffee with the aromatic Indian spice cardamom. Bonus? Shortbread is another straightforward and satisfying recipe to add to your baking toolkit. Seven easy-to-acquire ingredients mean little prep and lots of cookie-dunking time.
If you have a favorite shortbread recipe or tips on how you make the best shortbread, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll be trying my hand at more shortbread recipes this fall and winter.
Coffee-Cardamon Shortbread (A Desserts for Every Season recipe)
Makes about 36 cookies
12 ounces unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 TBS finely ground coffee
2 tsp ground cardamom
1. Position two racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl. Add the flour, salt, coffee, and cardamom, and mix until evenly combined, about 2 minutes.
3. Using a 1-ounce-sized- ice-cream scoop, or a tablespoon, drop the cookie batter onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Gently press the cookies with flattened fingers, and bake until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets to room temperature before serving.
*Be sure to remove them from the oven when they’re a very light golden brown to avoid serving a few dozen hockey pucks.