Vanilla Hearts

Vanilla Hearts
 

Finally got one day, one day, with no schedule of anything that involves going out or working on the computer. So I baked these Vanilla Hearts, one afternoon, just in time for my afternoon tea break.
 
This shortbread is from the book of Practical Cookies I bought from my baking teacher. I’ve been wondering of what shortbread really is. I mean, is it bread, is it cookie? If it’s a simple bread, why short? Shortbread? If it’s cookie, why they call it bread? Shortbread?

Man, this drove me crazy.

Instead of hitting the internet to find the definition, I decided to just jump off the cliff: bake and experience them myself. So then I will get a definition of my own. And I got one. Check it out:

A very thick, rich, sweet, crumbly, eggless biscuit that guarantee to fill your afternoon with sweet and happy crumbs.

For logic comparison though, here is a definition from Wikipedia:

Shortbread is a type of biscuit (US: cookie) which is traditionally made from one part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour, although other ingredients like ground rice or cornflour (US: cornstarch) are sometimes added to alter the texture. It is baked at a low temperature to avoid browning; when cooked it should be white or a light golden brown. Shortbread is generally associated with Scotland although it is also made in Denmark and in other countries.

You’ll find other sophisticated definition on the net. Just hit Google and type shortbread as the keyword. But for me, shortbread is just as simple as “the easiest biscuit that I will bake again and again“.

The recipe, you say? Well, I need to do some tweaking on the recipe before it’s ready to be published. You know, like I usually do to every foreign recipe. Now it’s Scottish, huh? Cool.

You see my shortbread’s texture is rough on the surface, because I used plain sugar instead of caster like what was suggested by the recipe. So I plan to substitute with powdered sugar to make it smoother and melter in your mouth. I also would like to roll it thicker, because it tends to flatten a little bit. Stubborn me, I didn’t roll it to 1 inch thickness like the recipe says because I thought it would be too thick. I will be a total follower next time.

About my question earlier. Although after enjoying the outcome I couldn’t care less about the definition, when they were quickly gone I found myself right where I started. So it is a cookie! However, still, why bread? Short—bread?

Stay tune for the answer. And —the recipe.

 

Update: the recipe!

Ow, alright, alright… here is the recipe..

Vanilla Hearts
Source: Practical Cookies by Parragon Publishing

Bahan:
150 g mentega (bukan margarin), potong-potong kecil, plus ekstra untuk mengoles loyang
225 g tepung terigu serba guna
125 g gula kastor, kalo gak ada, gula biasa diblender hingga butirannya kecil-kecil. Gula biasa akan menghasilkan permukaan dan tekstur yang lebih kasar/crunchy, walaupun tetap enak.
1 sdt ekstrak atau essence vanilla

Caranya:

  1. Olesi loyang dengan mentega tipis-tipis. Panaskan oven 180 derajat Celcius.
  2. Ayak tepung ke dalam mangkok besar. Masukkan mentega, rub dengan jari-jari tangan (bukan diremas) hingga berbutir-butir.
  3. Masukkan gula kastor dan ekstrak/essence vanilla, aduk dengan tangan hingga menjadi adonan yang dapat dibentuk.
  4. Gilas adonan setebal 2,5 cm dan cetak bentuk hati. Atur kue dalam loyang, panggang kurang lebih 15-20 menit hingga kuning keemasan. Dinginkan di atas rak.

 

9 thoughts on “Vanilla Hearts”

  1. dear ri, shortbreads is very common afternoon tea time biscuits for English. when i just moved to NZ i thought it was like a dry cake, but in fact, it was just a kind of bicuits. it’s pretty easy and quick to make. there are varieties: plain and coffee that i know of. perhaps there are some more. i just posted a yoyo bites sandwiched with passionfruit butter in my other blog, the mixture is just alike the shortbreads, without eggs!

    Pih, thanks for the enlightment! ————Riana

  2. Buw, biarin deh basi commentnya. Gw dikasih shortbread ama tmn gw di scotland. aduhhh itu kue enakkk banget, then dia gw suruh kirim lagi rutin ke gw..hahahahhaha.. ayo dunkk gw tunggu resepnya ya. thanks

    Emang sih enak, pok, tapi menurut gue resep yang ini masih rada “biasa”😀 Kayaknya nanti gue bakalan posting juga, tapi semata karena doi guampang banget dibikinnya. Stay tune yeee…. ———-Riana

  3. I can imagine your deliemma (laughs) … Sugar cookies is a type of shortbread, but a really delightful type of cookie is the Italian Almond Cookie, recipe below:

    ITALIAN ALMOND COOKIES
    ———————-

    1/2 c. butter
    1 c. sugar
    1 egg
    1 tsp. almond extract
    2 c. sifted flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    2 tbsp. milk
    2/3 c. chopped almonds
    1/4 c. apricot or strawberry jam

    Cream butter, sugar, eggs and flavoring. Add flour, baking
    powder and milk. Mix well. Roll small pieces of dough and
    roll between palms into balls. Roll balls in chopped nuts
    and place on greased cookie sheets. Make indentation with
    thumb and fill with jam. Bake at 400 for 12 to 15 minutes.
    Makes 2-4 dozen.

    Variation: Rather than using almonds or the jam, throw in about 1/2 a cup or so of Hershey’s Toffe Bits, then when the cookies come out of the oven, dust with powdered sugar.

    ===================================================
    Snickerdoodles is also yummy, recipe below:

    Snickerdoodle Cookies
    Ingredients:
    1 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    3 cups flour
    2 teaspoons cream of tarter
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup cinnamon sugar mix*
    Method:

    Preheat oven to 400 F. Beat together softened butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat.
    Combine flour, cream of tarter, soda, and salt. Stir into sugar mixture.
    Roll into walnut size balls; roll balls in cinnamon sugar mix, slightly flatten cookie on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
    * Mix together 1/3 cup white sugar and 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon to create cinnamon sugar mix.
    VARIATION: Substitute 3/4 cup white sugar with 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, substitute all or part of the flour with whole wheat flour, add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

    Good-luck and happy baking!

    Irene

  4. NO FAIL SUGAR COOKIES
    This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters. The dough holds its’ shape and won’t spread during baking. Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.
    6 cups flour
    3 tsp. baking powder
    2 cups butter
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
    1 tsp. salt
    Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

    Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below) >
    Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350
    degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe
    can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.
    HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess — Rather than wait for your cookie dough to
    chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.
    Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.

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