Ginger shortbread recipe
Unusually, this is an Irish ginger shortbread recipe. Most of the well known ones are Scottish. The Irish shortbreads are distinctive because they enjoy adding spices and flavorings to what could otherwise be seen as a bland bread. The Scots will point out, quite rightly, that their recipes develop the delicate, natural, taste of the ingredients.
Try them both! Follow this link for Ayrshire shortbread or read on for the Ginger shortbread.
This traditional recipe comes from a time when it was one of the most restful, most satisfying experiences of travel in the British Isles, to sit by a window in a quaint old tavern in Ireland and look out upon countrysides which have been unspoiled by the passing years.
In parts of Ireland, away from the tourist trails, you can still get the feeling of what that experience was like. You just have to find the right place and pause long enough for it to enter your spirit.
Butter, well softened
3 3/4 ozs
All purpose flour
1 1/2 cups
Yeild 2 shortbreads
Set the oven to 350F/ Mark 3.
Prepare two baking sheets.
Cream the butter and sugar for four minutes at top speed until light and fluffy.
Add the ginger and salt and mix for a further minute.
Stop the mixer, remove the bowl and add the flour. Using a knife or spoon mix in the bulk of the flour to prevent it flying round the kitchen when the mixer gets going again. Mix at slow speed for two minutes as the mix gets a ‘mealy’ appearance.
Keep the mixer running and add the cream dribbling it slowly into the mixer bowl.
Mix for a further two minutes so that it is has an even consistency.
Flour a surface ready as if for rolling.
Pull the mix into a ball and roll it between your hands.
Cut it into two halves.
With each half, roll it into a ball again in your hands. Place on the floured surface and press down gradually into a flat disk about 6″ in diameter. As you press down the mixture will try and split in places, just press it back together to stop the split developing.
When you have the right size flute the edges. Using your palette knife lift the shortbread onto the baking tray. Prick all over with a fork and cut about half way through so as to have six or eight segments.
Tech Tip When marking out the segments in the shortbread take a long, very sharp knife and mark your segments gently on the surface. Then press down to cut through in sections rather than dragging across the surface.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. The shortbread should look nicely tanned but not burned.
Allow to cool for five minutes, slide your palette knife under it to separate it form the sheet and slide carefully onto your rack to cool. Be careful at this stage – it is easy to crack it as it is still soft.
Allow to cool and then cut or snap along the marked lines.
Go to the top of this page to read the recipe for Ginger shortbread.