Sweet and buttery, this shortbread is laced with orange and has chewy raisins in every bite. It can be made ahead and kept in tins or frozen.
Shortbread is a simple mixture of butter, sugar, and flour.
But by no means is it a simple flavor. It's buttery, sweet, deep, and comforting.
A good shortbread is not hard to make but it's all in the details.
We added orange and raisins to a traditional recipe and it turned out wonderful, with personality but not losing the old-fashioned feeling.
- It's short: as the name implies. And in pastry, that means that it has a high ratio (proportion) of fat (in this case it's butter) to flour.
- It's crumbly: in appearance, and comes together when you pat it in the pan.
Scoring the shortbread
To score is to make a cut on top of the dough.
It usually applies to bread, such as French bread, where you make slits or superficial cuts before baking it.
For this recipe, we score the dough before and after baking, while still hot. This makes it easier to cut fully later and separate the pieces of shortbread.
If you waited until it's cold, the shortbread will break too much.
Shortbread is an interesting thing because you can take a century-old recipe and it’ll still be as good as a new and improved one, the changes through the years – like adding some rice flour or cornstarch – lacking in significance as a whole.
Shortbread is all about the proportions of three ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour.
The rest are fillers. Like the raisins here. But worth adding. If you’re into raisins that is. If not, it’s good without them. Good old-fashioned shortbread.
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- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup raisins
- ¾ cup (175g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a small saucepan boil orange juice with raisins until almost no juice is left, about 5 minutes.
- Let cool completely. It can be done ahead and kept for a day at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days.
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF/150°C.
- Have ready a square or round 8-inch pie or cake pan with removable bottom.
- In a bowl cream butter with a wooden spoon.
- Add sugar and combine very well.
- Add raisins (with juices) and mix.
- Add flour and salt and mix thoroughly until well combined and no dry spots are visible.
- Dump into the pan, and with lightly floured hands, pat evenly on the bottom.
- Score with a sharp knife without reaching the bottom, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until it turns lightly golden and dries out.
- Let cool on a wire rack and carefully unmold.
- Cut along the lines, and store in an airtight container.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: raisin shortbread
from Bon Appetit, December 1985