Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Ultimate Sass/My Ultimate Shortbread

Many of you might have already noticed that quite a few of my posts include recipe's from the Tartine cookbook (including the recipe in this post). That is because Tartine in San Francisco is hands down the best bakery I have ever been to! Their pastries are simply perfection. So naturally, I had to venture out to the Mission District to pay homage to my favorite bakery, in fact favorite place, in the city.

The store front is very unassuming; just wood covered in craking forest green paint and some windows. They don't even advertise their name out front, THEY ARE THAT GOOD! However when you walk in there is nothing unassuming about the place. In fact, your nostrils are immediately overwhelmed by the delightful scent of butter, sugar and flour coming together in perfect unity. Then the scent trancends it's sensory barriers and seems to whisper in your ear, "This is where your meant to be....

And if your not one to listen to your senses (tisk, tisk) you should know that Tartine is owned and run by world renowned pastry chefs Elisabeth Prueitt and husband Chad Robertson who have one multiple awards in their field. The husband and wife duo offer everything from breakfast viennoiserie, french sandwiches, cakes, cookies and even fresh baked bread which is available Wed-Sun after 5pm (really from 5-5:45 because it ussually sells out). Nothing is bad, most things will change your life or at least ruin you for most other pastries.

Josh and I went for breakfast on a cold rainy day in SF. I ordered a Morning Bun of course, which you can and should read more about here, and josh ordered the bread pudding which is also fantastic; made out of rich brioche, topped with seasonal fruit and served warm it is hard to beat on a cold day (unless your the morning bun of course, which has huge guns and I have seen destroy a bear).

I also got my favorite cookie there, the shortbread. Big surprise, it is the best shortbread I have ever had. So buttery and light mmmmm.... So I decided to make it myself and relay the recipe to my lovely readers, because I can't not share this with you. It's great because you usually have all the ingredients in your kitchen, it stores for up to 2 weeks and is the perfect companion to your morning coffee or tea. So without further ado, Tartine's Shortbread.

from Tartine

1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft (9 oz)
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (9 0z)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cornstarch (2 2/3 oz)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 1/2 oz)
1/4 cup superfine or granulated sugar for topping (2 oz)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 6-by-io-inch glass baking dish. (I used an 8x8 since thats all I had and it is close to the same square inches)

2. Place the butter in a mixing bowl. The butter must be very soft - the consistency of mayonnaise or whipped cream. Add the salt to the butter and mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk so that it dissolves completely.

3. Sift the flour and cornstarch together into a bowl.

4. Add the granulated sugar to the butter and mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix just until a smooth dough forms.

5. Pat the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. The dough should be no more than 2/3 inch deep. Bake until the top and bottom are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. The middle of the shortbread should remain light. Let cool on a wire rack until warm to the touch.

6. Sprinkle the shortbread with the superfine or granulated sugar. Tilt the dish so that the sugar fully and evenly coats the surface and then tip out the excess sugar. With a very thin, sharp knife, cut the shortbread into rectangular fingers about 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long. If the cookies have become cold they will not slice well, so they must still be warm to the touch at this point. Chill thoroughly before removing from the baking dish.
The first cookie is difficult to remove, but the rest should come out easily with the aid of a small, thin offset spatula. The cookies will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 weeks.

Here is my shortbread. I had it with my Laduree black rose tea that my mother & father in-law gave me for Christmas. The pair was phenomenal! Especially since I love dipping my shortbread in my tea. And what better tea to dip it in then the best tea in the world straight from Paris, thanks guys!

Here is Tartine Bakery's shortbread, and get this... I can honestly say that they tasted exactly the same, simply perfect.

No comments:

Post a Comment