Is bread really bread if it is made of nearly two sticks of butter? Sure, why not. It’s got carbs. It counts.
Shortbread (more cookie than bread, why lie…) makes sends my heart a flutter, like none other. See what I did there? Rhyming. It’s all about the timing. And the hoak. I’m a big fan of hoak.
Last year after months of searching, I found my wedding dress at Costco. Yes, Costco. (It’s one of them in this collection I just won’t tell you which one – gotta wait ’til August for the big reveal!). It fit like a glove. Mom cried. Beka cried. I got all teary. The end.
As soon as I was out of that gorgeous silk confection and on my merry way my mom, Beka and I hit up Panera Bread and I needed carbs. They were well earned, and I required a shortbread. Carbs and I are star crossed lovers. We go together like Joanie and Chachi, scarves and fitted v-neck tees, and my spoon in a jar of Biscoff. It’s just destiny.
I choose to ignore the part about them being half butter and my ass growing at a disproportionate rate…but that’s neither there nor there.
Shortbreads always seemed like it would be one of those desserts that would be difficulty to make. How did it get so dense, yet so tender? So dry but so melt-in-your-mouth? Butter, duh. They’d never been far from my mind, always on the “make it or bake it” list, just lacking the time to bring them to fruition.
After my recent weekend adventure to the tulip fields of Skagit Valley, I sunk my teeth into a freakishly thick and sinful coconut shortbread, I concluded it was time to make my own shortbread. I had to have my way with it, then learn to stand on my own two feet like a big girl and bake it myself.
#weddingdietfail at it’s finest.
Step in America’s Test Kitchen Best Shortbread, with a Cleaver twist…
Pulse 1/2 cup of rolled oats in a food processor until floury consistency. All I had on me was 1 packet of instant regular oatmeal and it worked like a dream. It wittled down to about 1/3 cup of oat flour.
The into my Kitchen Aid went the rest of the dry ingredients, mixed to combine and then dun-dum-DUM, The Butter.
All 14 tablespoons of it.
Last but not least 1 cup of toasted shredded coconut was added and the whole lot was mixed until it just combined and pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
For baking, the mix was spread out into a closed springform pan. Once it was shaped the pan was released but left in place to ensure the bread didn’t spread too far. Gotta keep this baby reined in a bit! Can’t have these carbs galavanting all over the place.
To ensure the bread didn’t rise to much in the middle either, I gave it an escape route to the middle of the pan by removing a 3″ circle out of it. But don’t go wasting this. Just set it on the outside of the spring-form pan and bake as directed. It’s a guaranteed “wrecked” piece. If you’re the kind of person that needs to justify eating the “broken” cookie so no one else has too….darn.
Then bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for five minutes, reducing it to 250 and then allowing to make an additional 10-15 until golden brown. Score and let it cool in the oven and when it’s done you can devour it. I won’t judge if you eat it straight off the pan… I did. And then I had a cup of tea.
Yield: 16 Wedges
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes + 1 Hour Cooling Time
Total Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Coconut Shortbread. What more do I need to say?
1/2 cup plain Oats
1 1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2/3 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
14 Tbsp Butter, cut into pieces 1/4" wide
1 cup toasted shredded Coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place oats in food processor and pulse until they become a fine powder. About 5 pulses.
In medium non stick skillet, over medium heat, place coconut and stir with spoon until it begins to turn golden brown and toast. Remove immediately from heat and set aside.
In stand mixer, place all dry ingredients including toasted coconut. Turn mixer on low to combine. Add in butter and mix on low until dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a closed spring-form pan on top. Spread dough into spring-form pan, evenly. Unlock spring form pan but leave it in place on baking sheet. This will ensure the dough doesn't spread to far.
Using a round cookie cutter, remove a circle of the center of the shortbread dough. Set disk of dough outside the spring form pan and bake as directed.
Bake shortbread for 5 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce temperature to 250 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove baking sheet from oven and remove spring-form pan from baking sheet. Using a sharp knife score the shortbread into 16 wedges. Place baking sheet with shortbread back into the oven. Turn OFF the oven, leaving shortbread in there to cool. Make sure the oven is propped slightly open to allow to cool. About 1 hour.
Place shortbread on cooling rack after one hour and allow to finish cooling to room temperature.
Break into wedges and devour with tea.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Best Shortbread