Recipe | Shortbread, Three Ways!

We adore savoury shortbread, and find them to be a great, satisfactory snack to fend off hunger during the day – which we alluded to in our previous post aimed at students, and promised a recipe for our style of them. Patrick has one recipe, with three outcomes!

shortbread baking snack herbs parmesan thyme rosemary

The original recipe that these are based on is the one for Nigella Lawson’s parmesan shortbreads. I’ve tried a few other recipes I have come across, and none have been as clear or simple as Nigella’s one. Though the recipe yields some beautiful shortbreads, I’ve built upon the flavour profile rather than tampering with the structure.

The trick with Nigella’s original cheesy recipe is the ratio. The largest ingredient is flour, then take three quarters of that amount of butter, then three quarters of the butter amount should be parmesan. With this formula, you can bulk up the recipe to yield as many shortbread as you need. I’ve seen quite a few recipes where the use of an egg yolk is disputed. I always put in at least one. Obviously working with good quality, fresh butter will give you a nice yellow colour, and an additional yolk per 150g of flour will only add to that.

Parmesan, Thyme and Rosemary Shortbread

The first of three batches in this post are classic favourites of ours. I’ve given them as part of Christmas hampers for a few years now. Since we had a glut of  fresh herbs growing on the kitchen windowsill in our flat, these were an instant must-bake.

shortbread baking snack herbs parmesan thyme rosemary

You don’t have to use a combination of these two herbs, you could use either, or you could choose your own – for instance dried or (a scant amount of) fresh oregano for a more Italian flavoured batch. You could use dill as well for a more Scandinavian/Eastern European touch.

shortbread baking parmesan thyme snack herbs parmesan

Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 75g finely grated parmigiana or pecorino
  • a pinch of sea salt and a crack of fresh black pepper
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 35 g of mixed, finely chopped herbs

shortbread, baking, snack, herbs, parmesan

Chilli Chipotle Shortbread

Now chipotle paste is not something that everyone will have in their cupboard, and that’s fine – this is merely an indication of the idea behind these shortbread. It should be a warm spice, not too piquant, that colours and adds layers of mild heat to their flavour. Chipotle seems to do this perfectly – the reason it’s a major ingredient in the best spicy mayonnaises around.

shortbread baking snack turmeric cayenne salt

These have no cheese in them and extra dried ingredients, so are slightly, just slightly, shorter than the other two types of shortbread in this post. They have a warm background heat from the mixture of spices and a blazen orange tint.

Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder (unsmoked)
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1 tsp cayenne (go up to 1 tbsp if feeling the heat!)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric (go up to 1 tbsp for an intense colour –  I find too much turmeric can give an artificial taste though)

shortbread baking snack turmeric cayenne salt

Mild Mustard Shortbread

The dijon mustard in this last round of shortbread makes these rich inside and they melt creamily on the tongue. You can replace the dijon mustard with mustard powder for a subtler taste, tentatively try hot English mustard if you are feeling brave to feel the burn. These are seriously tempting and a big crowd pleaser as they have a more subtle taste than the two above.

shortbread baking snack dijon mustard parmesan

Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 75g parmesan
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • a generous pinch of sea salt

shortbread baking snack dijon mustard parmesan

For all of the above recipes, simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture comes together into a dough. Just as it gets together, shape it into a long sausage, the width of which should measure 1 pound/20 cent (€). Wrap in some greaseproof paper and then in cling film. Freeze for about 20-30 minutes until the log is completely firm (while they cool, pre-heat the oven to 180°C).

Cut into 1″ rounds and bake for around 15 minutes. This could stretch to 20 minutes, depending on how thick or wide your rounds are, so keep an eye and take them out once lightly browned. They store just fine in an air-tight container for at least a week, if not two.

Like these flavours? Tell us some of your favourite combinations in the comments below!

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