19 June 2007

Not Shortbread, But Lovely Cookies Nonetheless

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:

  1. I don't cook with rum (or any other alcoholic drink for that matter), so that was the first change.
  2. I substituted chopped dried apricots for the dried currants.
  3. I used agave instead of sugar.
  4. I employed a lemon for zest instead of orange (although that would work really well with the apricots).
  5. I added vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract.
  6. 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.

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