Whenever our grandsons visit, the first thing they do (well, Nicky does — Jacob cooly follows, above it all but interested still the same) is run to the kitchen counter to see if the Queen is there and if her tummy is full! If our tin makes an appearance, they know goodies are inside!
The tin was a souvenir of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Celebration, and we brought it back with us after living in Wales for two years.
Today the Queen’s tummy is full. I’ve tried several recipes in order to perfect the shortbread cookies (biscuits in the U.K.) we love. Mary Berry uses semolina in her mixture; James Martin calls for confectioner’s sugar and corn flour. Both British bakers have completely different approaches to shortbread than American bakers. In fact, every recipe I read, British, American, wherever – was different. I guess it’s a matter of which recipe satisfies your taste buds. Today – in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen, we’re doing the James Martin version, with a dash of Jann thrown in.
What You Need:
175g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. butter for baking tray
100g confectioners’ sugar
100g corn flour
200g all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. fine sugar or regular grind if you can’t find fine
Utensils and Tools:
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Using the paper towel, butter the baking tray and set aside.
Measure all ingredients: mis en place
Butter. Confectioners’ Sugar.
Put the butter and sugar into the bowl and mix with the electric mixer until blended, light and fluffy.
Corn Flour. Flour.
Add the two flours and mix for about 2 minutes, until large clumps form.
Remove dough and mold into a ball with your hand.
Press the dough onto the baking tray, spreading it out with the foot of your hand until it’s about ½-inch thick.
Prick the dough all over with the fork.
Gently drop the fine sugar onto the top of the dough, avoiding clumping. Spread with your hands if mounds form.
Bake for 20 minutes on the top rack of your oven. Remember: the top rack is where your oven is calibrated. Use an oven thermometer to make sure.
When the dough is golden brown, remove and let it cool for 5 minutes in the baking tray.
Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough into whatever shape you like.
The Queen will be so happy — and so will your family!