During Thursday’s readergirlz chat with Meg Cabot, I was chatting and baking a giant batch of Toffee-Crunch shortbread to give as gifts. (As you can see, I was forced to sample a few, just for quality control purposes). I promised Holly Cupala that I would share the recipe. So here it is! Perfect for giving (and nibbling).
Toffee-Crunch Shortbread – Yield: about 50 fingers
Adapted from In the Sweet Kitchen, by Regan Daley
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 rice flour (or cornstarch, but not as good for texture as rice flour)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons superfine sugar
6 tablespoons tightly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup English toffee bits for baking (I think you call them Heath bars south of the border. We call them Skor bars in the Great White North).
Extra butter for pan-greasing
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch metal pan. line the bottom and two long sides with parchment paper and leave a good overhang on either side to pull the cookies out of the tin later.
2. Sift the flours (all purpose and rice) and salt and set aside.
3. In a mixer (or by hand if you’re feeling like a pioneer), beat the butter until it’s really smooth. Gradually add the sugars and beat until it’s very light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix.
4. Add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next addition. (But don’t go crazy here. Mix just enough or the cookies will end up a tad tough).
5. At the end, when the last bit of flour is almost mixed in, get in there with your hands and knead the last traces in. Don’t overdo it. It shouldn’t get greasy.
6. Add the chips and the toffee bits and incorporate again using your hands.
7. Do not eat the dough. You will want to. Desperately. Resist.
8. Press the dough into the lined pan and then smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Prick it all over with a fork (in perfectly-spaced, orderly rows if you’re Type A, like I am). Put in the centre of the oven.
9. Bake for approximately 45 minutes then take it out and prick once again to release trapped air.
10. Return to the oven for 15-30 minutes more. When done, the edges will be light golden and the centre will feel firm when you touch it.
11. Cool for about 8-10 minutes. Time it. You need to cut the fingers before it cools or else you will never be able to do it as it sets up very firm. After the 10 minutes of cooling time, make 2 long cuts in the shortbread, beginning and ending at a short side of the pan. You’re dividing it into three long rectangles. Then go across these long rectangles, cutting 3/4 inch wide fingers from one side to the other. You may need to wipe the knife off as you go to avoid tearing.
12. Let the fingers cool. I like to remove them from the tin to cool, but the recipe says to leave them in the tin to cool. Whatever. Store in airtight containers.
Share. If you can.
(There you go Holly!)