Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shortbread is a type of biscuit (cookie) which is traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts plain white flour, although other ingredients like ground rice or cornflour are sometimes added to alter the texture. Shortbread is so named because of its crumbly texture (from an old meaning of the word short). The cause of this texture is its high fat content, provided by the butter. The related word "shortening" refers to any fat that may be added to produce a short (crumbly) texture. The term "short" is used in reference to the fact that the fat molecules inhibit the formation of long gluten strands, making it "short".
Shortbread is not to be confused with shortcake, which is similar to shortbread but made using vegetable fat instead of butter, giving it a different texture.

Shortbread Shapes
Shortbread is generally associated with and originated in Scotland, but due to its popularity it is also made in other countries like Denmark, England, Ireland and Sweden. In the latter a popular recipe of it is called "Drömmar", literally meaning "dreams" in English. The Scottish version is the best-known, and Walkers Shortbread Ltd is Scotland's largest food exporter.
Shortbread was chosen as the United Kingdom's representative for Café Europe during the 2006 Austrian Presidency of the European Union.

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