Addy’s Shortbread

   In Addy’s day many people couldn’t read so recipes weren’t always something written down but passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. This shortbread recipe is something Mama would have taught Addy to make and Addy would have passed it to her daughter.

Cookbooks in the 1860’s aren’t like our modern ones. Back then people cooked on different types of heat, some folks had stoves while others cooked in fireplaces. A fireplace would loose a lot of its heat to the room and chimney while a cast iron stove would contain its heat and cook food more evenly. Cookbooks couldn’t say to cook for 20 minutes because everyone’s method of heat varied. Instead they would describe the finished product such as “fry until golden brown”. For this recipe the modern instructions are listed but in Addy’s day we would remove the pan from the oven when the shortbread “is golden brown and pulls away from the sides of the pan”. 😊

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The history of shortbread goes back centuries and was originally called biscuit bread. This biscuit bread was made of left-over bread dough that was sweetened and dried out in the oven. Over time the leavening was exchanged for butter, making it a fancy, expensive treat that was only made for celebrations like Christmas. On the subject of pastry, the term “short” means crumbly. The large amount of butter is what makes shortbread “short”.

To try other American Girl recipes visit Felicity’s Raspberry FlummerySamantha’s Lemon IceKirsten‘s Pepparkakor Cookies or Molly’s Parsley Biscuits.


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For this recipe you will need: 2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar and 1 cup of chilled butter (2 sticks). I am using stone ground flour that I picked up on my trip to DeZwaan Windmill. The complete recipe is at the bottom of the page.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and measure the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the brown sugar and mix well.

Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the mixing bowl. (I didn’t add it in small chunks and that would have been helpful.) Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the mixture until there are pea-sized lumps. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until it is smooth.

Press the shortbread into a baking pan until you have an even thickness. Prick the shortbread all over with a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The shortbread will brown and pull away from the sides of the baking pan. While still warm cut the shortbread with a knife and let cool before serving.


Shortbread ~ Pleasant Company

(This recipe has been adapted from Addy’s Cook Book)

*This recipe requires adult supervision when using the oven!

Ingredients:

Pastry

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup of chilled butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Measure the flour and salt into a bowl.
  3. Add the brown sugar and mix well.
  4. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix the butter into the mixture until there are pea-sized lumps..
  6. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until it is smooth.
  7. Press the shortbread into a baking pan until you have an even thickness.
  8. Prick the shortbread all over with a fork.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The shortbread will brown and pull away from the sides of the baking pan.
  10. While still warm cut the shortbread with a knife and let cool before serving.

American Girl Addy Shortbread Recipe

4 thoughts on “Addy’s Shortbread

  1. It looks like it would be delicious. I think Addy must have had fun “supervising” the making of this dessert (laugh).

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