Shortbread is my baking Everest.
The cookies above were my attempt at reworking Martha Stewart's Living Cookie of the Month for July, Rum-Raisin Shortbread. The main challenge was adapting the recipe to account for the agave/sugar substitution. While I thought I'd be able to do it with the coconut flour, the cookies ended up tasting much more like these treats I made for Passover instead. Not that there's anything wrong with them at all. They were lovely. However, they did not remotely taste like shortbread.
Here is a list of my alterations to the original recipe:
- I don't cook with rum (or any other alcoholic drink for that matter), so that was the first change.
- I substituted chopped dried apricots for the dried currants.
- I used agave instead of sugar.
- I employed a lemon for zest instead of orange (although that would work really well with the apricots).
- I added vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract.
- I used a mixture of coconut flour and all-purpose flour instead of just ap flour.
When I creamed the butter with the agave, I had high hopes for the recipe working out as shortbread. However, when I added the remaining ingredients, the dough was just too creamy.
It wasn't like a sugar cookie dough, but I plowed ahead.
Martha's recipe called for forming the dough into two logs wrapped in parchment. Luckily, the parchment really helped in rolling the very mushy (yet tasty) dough.
Afterward, I let the dough rest in the fridge for two days, until I had time to bake the cookies (day before Father's Day).
At this point, I'll let a short clip tell a bit more of the story.
The resulting cookies were yummy and a big hit at my Dad's for Father's Day. However, they're not what I think shortbread should taste like. On the other hand, I'm willing to keep trying different flours and perhaps barley malt powder to achieve a more dry, crunchy, shortbready mouthfeel.