Friday, March 27, 2015

All Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Food in Singapore is not cheap. When the café scene started hopping in Singapore a few years back, my friends and I were a bright eyed bunch in University, and would eagerly scour from café to café (The Plain, D’ Good Café) for a zen place to study and a good cuppa.

The baked goods always left much to be desired though, which was fine by me because it gave me excuses to whip up my own in the kitchen. My allowances dipped because of the siren’s call from all the cookies in the Marks & Spencer stores. In England they’re waaaay cheaper, about 2 pounds for a pack of those buttery, crumbly chocolate chip cookies. But here in Singapore, they’re a hefty $8 a pop! DAMN YOU GST @_@

Receiving a tub of homemade butter cookies from a lovely parent finally made me SEE THE LIGHT. Crumbly, buttery shortbreads are POSSIBLE! IN THE HOME KITCHEN! GOD BLESS US ALL! That’s alot of exclamation marks, but the revelation truly made my heart sing.

These cookies aren’t very sweet and have a hint of salt from the custard powder. I try to make them smaller and have seen my students pop 5 cookies in one sitting – that’s how dangerously snacktastic they are! The trick to crumbly, but not fall apart cookies is a dash of corn flour and custard powder. Do try to locate these ingredients because I guarantee people will be asking for these over and over again!

All Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread
Recipe Slightly Adapted from Christine
Makes 25 pieces
§  150 gm plain flour / all-purpose flour
§  30 gm corn flour / corn starch
§  20 gm custard powder
§  160 gm unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
§  50 gm icing sugar
§  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
§  1 tsp baking powder
§  ½ cup chocolate chips

1.    Combine the plain flour, corn flour, custard powder and baking powder and sift through a sieve. Set aside.

2.    In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and icing sugar until fluffy and pale. Mix in the vanilla extract.

3.   Sift in the flour mixture. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Stir in chocolate chips. Lightly knead into a dough. Wrap with a plastic film and roll into a tube in 3½cm thickness. Wrap it up and refrigerate for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s workable.

4.   Preheat oven to 180C / 365F. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Remove the dough from refrigerator. Using your hands, scoop and measure about 20g of dough and roll into a ball. Place onto the baking sheet and flatten gently with the palm of your hand, until you get a small round disc. Bake in preheated oven, for about 15 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.

Baker’s Notes
1.     Because the ingredients are simple and few, try to use the best quality butter, vanilla and chocolate, because your guests will be able to taste the difference.

2.    Christine’s recipe is originally the slice and bake method, but my OCPD tendencies drive me to weighing them out individually, play it by the ear!

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