I love to bake, but don’t do it often enough. So, when Susan asked me if I would like to try out some recipes using King Arthur Flour Flav-R-Bites, I don’t think she had even finished her question before I said yes.
The first question was what to test them in, and I decided that I should keep it simple, so that the bites would stand out and I could see what they added to the recipe. One of my favorite basic cookies is shortbread, which I have found is a great base for adding flavors.
When I was younger, my dad and I would make shortbread around the holidays for when friends would come by. Then, as time past, we started giving it as gifts. Eventually, my dad and I became shortbread slaves between Thanksgiving and New Years. Every day brought a fresh list of people we simply had to give shortbread to! My mother is a very generous person. After a while I got sick of the sight and smell of my once favorite cookie. At some point the Shortbread Sweat Shop closed. For years I couldn’t look at shortbread in any form. Then one day someone gave me a piece of packaged shortbread, Walkers if you must know, and I ate it to be polite. My love was instantly rekindled! I called my father and got the recipe that we had made thousands of times and began making that classic, dense shortbread again.
The shortbread that I made when I was younger was the hearty shortbread that comes in thick squares made by pressing the dough into a baking pan. I hadn’t really every seen a dainty shortbread cookie until I worked at the restaurant at the Takishamya department store where I made their green tea shortbread cookies. This was the first time I had made shortbread that was flaky, from the powdered sugar, and added flavor, the green tea. Honestly, I didn’t much care for the green tea, but I did experiment with other flavors, which was fun, and a really nice variation for the return of the holiday shortbread baking.
Before I picked up the Flav-R-Bites I wanted to make sure that I had a really good shortbread, a combination of the flaky and the dense. After several test batches, I found the combination of granulated and confectioners’ sugars that gave me the texture I wanted. Then, I added the Flav-R-Bites and wow! These things are great.
Cinnamon Chip Shortbread
2 sticks sweet, unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup King Arthur Flour Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites* ($7.95/16 ounces)
Butter an 8”x8” square tart pan or baking dish.
Beat the butter and sugars together in a mixer with the paddle attachment until they are fluffy and light in color.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and flav-r-bites together in a bowl. I like to use a whisk for this as I find that it mixes well and fluffs up the flour.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture and starting on slow speed so that the flour doesn’t fly into the air, combine until the dough is just uniform. Do not over mix or your shortbread may lose some of its eventual flakiness.
Press dough into prepared pan or dish and score into squares or rectangles with a butter knife. If you forget to score the dough at this point, it’s really not a problem.
Chill for 1 hour, then place in a preheated 300 degree oven for 1 hour until just golden brown.
Allow to cool a bit before slicing along scored lines. Once the shortbread is out of the pan, continue to cool as long as you can resist eating it.
This shortbread is wonderful warm or completely cooled. If it lasts overnight, the texture changes and becomes a little crumblier, but they are still just as amazing as warm out of the oven.
*We also tried this same recipe with the maple Flav-R-Bites and we love it just as much.