Printable version here.
This month’s choice for “This Book Makes Me Cook”, selected by Rachel, is Enid Blyton’s “The Naughtiest Girl In School. Enid Blyton’s books formed a large part of the books that I cut my “reading” teeth on, so to say. I have read most of her mystery series and used to be envious of the girls who went to Mallory Towers and St. Claire’s and had such exciting lives. Now I look back, it seems like the plot in one book was very much like the next, but back then I had a lot of fun reading them.
The main character in this book, Elizabeth Allen, is a spoilt and naughty girl.
In Chapter 1 “The Naughty Spoilt Girl”, her parents have to go away and her governess, a Miss Scott, has had enough of Elizabeth’s pranks and bad behaviour and refuses to stay any longer. So her parents decide to send her to boarding school where she would be looked after well and hopefully learn to behave better.
“Elizabeth's things were packed and ready. She had a neat brown trunk, with "E. Allen" painted on it in black. She had a tuck-box too, with a big currant cake inside, a box of chocolate, a tin of toffee, a jam sandwich, and a tin of shortbread.”The word shortbread caught my attention in particular because my daughter loves it. She likes it so much that she has learnt to make it by herself, from one of my cookie books. So it seemed perfect that since we were reading an Enid Blyton book which Akshaya used to enjoy not too long ago (she now thinks such books are for kids), that she make this shortbread which she so loves and I would post it.
This is how Akshaya makes Scottish Shortbread from my cookie book Cookies: Step-by-step Techniques from Sunset Books.
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
½ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
Some sugar for sprinkling
In a bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch and sugar. Rub in the butter pieces, using your fingers, till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gather this into a ball.
Place this ball in an ungreased 8” or 9” piedish, tart tin/ cake tin with a removable bottom. Press the dough out in the pan, firmly into an even layer. If this is not done, the shortbread will not firm up when baked and will crumble. With the tines of a fork, make decorative impressions around the edge and prick the surface evenly.
Bake at 160C for about 40 minutes or till the shortbread turns a pale golden brow. Do not allow it to brown any more or you will find that the bottom of the shortbread will be burnt!
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the sugar over the short bread. While still very hot, mark the shortbread with a knife into 8 or 12 wedges. Allow to cool completely then remove from the pan and serve with tea.
This recipe makes 8 or 12 wedges, depending on how you cut the shortbread.
This Scottish Shorbread is my submission for this month’s This Book Makes Me Cook. Do take a look at what my fellow bloggers Bhags, Rachel, Siri, Dee, Srimathi, Harini, Shweatha and Simran have been inspired to cook.