Thursday, January 14, 2010

Healthy Shortbread (not kidding!)

I found two shortbread recipes over the holidays that I wanted to try, but since they used alternative sweeteners and sprouted wheat flour I chickened out when baking for family and friends. Now that I am making it for me and the boyz (R, M, and E) at home, I feel more confident to try it out. Plus, that jumbleberry pie from a few days ago turned out wonderfully.

First I tried The Nourishing Gourmet's Scottish Shortbread Cookies recipe. Then I tried Cheeseslave's Sprouted Flour Shortbread Cookies with Grass-fed Butter recipe. Below are my versions of each.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies
    1 cup plus two tablespoons of sprouted wheat flour
    2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
    1/4 cup of maple sugar
    1/2 cup of cold butter
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set out an 8 by 8 pan.

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, arrowroot powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk a little to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and then “cut” into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter. Do this until the dough resembles small crumbs.

Using your hands gently start forming this mixture into a ball. At first it will be really crumbly, but keep gathering it together and gently kneading it together. It should form a ball within a minute or two. If it absolutely will not stick together, you can sprinkle a little water over it.

Press evenly into the ungreased pan.

Then cut the shortbread into desired amount of squares.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough is set and the sides browning just very slightly. Remove from the oven. Recut lines in warm pan. Let cool completely in the pan, then remove.

Classic Round Shortbread

1 3/4 cups sprouted wheat flour
1/4 cup rice flour
2/3 cup palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces unsalted grass-fed butter, unsalted, cold

1. Set oven rack to middle. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Add flour and arrowroot powder, all but 1 tablespoon sugar (reserve for sprinkling), and salt to mixing bowl. Mix at low speed until combined.
3. Cut very cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes.
4. Add butter cubes to flour mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough looks like wet crumbs. All the butter should be mixed in thoroughly.
5. Press crumbly dough into glass pie pan. Use your fingers, and then the bottom of a glass to press down on the surface and make it smooth and level.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and place shortbread in oven.
7. Bake 20 minutes.
8. Remove pan from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes.
9. Set a 2-inch biscuit cutter in the center of the shortbread. Press down hard. Pull up, leaving the center circular piece intact.
10. Using a sharp knife, cut the outer ring into 16 equally sized wedges.
11. Using a skewer or other pointy-tipped implement, poke holes in the top in a decorative pattern.
12. Return shortbread to oven and continue to bake until golden, about 40 minutes longer. You may want to put an extra cookie sheet underneath to catch the butter dripping.
13. Remove from oven and sprinkle shortbread evenly with reserved 1 tablespoon sugar. Let cool for at least 15 minutes.
14. Cut at scored marks into wedges. Let cool for at least an hour.

Store shortbread cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

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