Last week, I received a surprise email from a fellow blogger friend - Pei-Lin from Dodol & Mochi. What was surprising was that she was planning to come down to Singapore in August and she is inviting me together with several SG food bloggers for a Blogger's Meetup.
I almost jumped with excitement at the thought of Pei-Lin coming over and attending the meetup. This would be my first time meeting her in person and my first blogger's meetup. Woah, two first times at one go! It would be an enriching experience meeting up like-minded people who have the same interests in food. Keeping my fingers cross that day will come soon..
It has been a week since I baked anything. When it comes to baking, I am indecisive. Most of the time I would not bake something I have carefully planned. Having said that, the Lady Baltimore cake which I intended to do has been shelved for nearly 3 weeks. Coupled with the fact that I have endless recipes waiting for me to try them out, making a decision is never an easy chore. Indecisiveness + recipe overload = headache!
In the end, I settled for a simple lemon shortbread recipe. In the past, I have always thought that shortbread = a type of bread. How naive I was. Shortbread is a cumbly textured cookie which comprise of a few very basic ingredients such as sugar, butter and flour. In my case, lemon zest, salt and rice flour were added.
The addition of rice flour served its purpose well. Previously, I have made lemon shortbread without rice flour and they turned out crunchy. However, these cookies did not keep the crunch well. It did not take long for these lemon shortbread to lose their crunch in the unfriendly humid weather. It was an awkward outcome. On the other hand, this batch of lemon shortbread using rice flour fared much better. They turned out to be more crumbly than crunchy and did not turn soft easily.
Lemon Shortbread ( recipe adapted from I Can Bake by Agnes Chang)Serving size: 20- 24 squares
Equipment and materials:
1) Stand electric beater/ handheld electric beater or wooden spoon
2) Flour sieve
3) Grater with fine holes
4) Measuring spoon set
6) Mixing bowl
7) Wire rack
8) baking trays/ cookie sheets
125g unsalted butter
70g caster sugar
120g plain flour
60g rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (grate lemon zest over sugar)
caster sugar or demarara sugar for sprinkling (optional)
1) Sift both types of flour into a big bowl. Add salt and use a whisk to ensure mixture is evenly distributed. Set aside.
2) Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium speed for 2 minutes until butter mixture is pale and fluffy
3) Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure loose flour is incorporated.
4) Turn the dough into baking/parchment paper and roll the dough into a 1 inch x 1 inch (2.5cm x 2.5cm) square log. Refrigerate or freeze until log is firm. Slice the log into squares of 1 cm thickness. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
5) Place squares onto baking trays lined with baking/parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and bake for 18 - 25 minutes.
6) Remove cookies and leave to cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container when completely cooled.
1) Rub the lemon zest and sugar to impart more flavour to the cookies.
2) If log is too firm it may become brittle and hard to slice. Let log soften a little until it is easier to handle.
3) You may choose to roll the dough into a circular log instead of a square log. If doing so, give the log a quater-turn periodically as you slice it to maintain the circular shape.
4) Alternatively, roll the dough between 2 sheets of baking/parchment paper. Chill dough until firm and stamp out shapes using a cookie cutter into attractive shapes.