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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wildflower Honey Shortbread Bars

When I was growing up and when I came home to visit from college, my parents would sometimes have tea time. It was usually a last minute decision, but my mom would always find ways of making it special. One of the things I loved most was taking big chunks of shortbread and dunking it in my tea which was usually unsweetened and always without milk because that's how I prefer my tea. I have never made shortbread on my own, but it's been something I have been wanting to try. Last week I saw this recipe on the LA Times site and I knew I would be making it soon. I always have wildflower honey on hand, but this recipe called for creamy wildflower honey so I waited until the Sunday farmers market to pick some up. I am totally obsessed with Honey Pacifica and I love tasting the different varieties every so often. Raul swears by the sage honey. As Dawn would say, this recipe is shortbread kicked up a couple of notches. The base is a basic shortbread, and then you add a layer of creamy honey and another layer of shortbread crumbs and then top the whole thing off with cinnamon and sugar. I mean, really?! It is so, incredibly good. If you are lucky enough to have someone to celebrate Valentine's Day with (unlike me), don't buy them flowers...make them this shortbread. They will love you. You will love you. It's really that good. Instead of a square pan, I baked this halved recipe in my mini springform pans, but I still had enough for two pans. Honestly though, you can never have too much shortbread. Go make some now! What are you waiting for?

Sometimes I think the number of pictures I post is in direct correlation to how good a recipe is. Get the picture?


Hey, no one else is buying me flowers for Valentine's Day...had to get them for myself.


Did you see my review of the Adele/James Morrison show?

Wildflower Honey Shortbread
(Adapted from the LA Times)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons - 1/4 cup creamy wildflower honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachement, or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, mix together the butter, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to overmix. With the mixer running, gradually add the flour and mix just until the dough comes together.

Divide the dough into quarters. Shape one quarter into a small log, 1 to 2 inches in diameter and cover with plastic wrap. Combine the remaining quarters and shape into a disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate both portions for 1 hour until firm.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the disc of dough and press it into a 4 1/2 inch springform pan (if using the full recipe, press it into a 9-inch square baking pan), working until the dough evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and set aside.

Unwrap the small log of dough and roll it into a rough rectangle. It doesn't have to be perfect as it will be crumbled as topping later. Place the dough on an unbuttered baking pan.

Place the cake pan on the top rack of the oven and place the baking pan on the center rack. Bake the baking pan shortbread until lightly browned along the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes, and the cake pan shortbread until golden brown about 30-35 minutes. Transfer each pan when done to a cooling rack to cool completely. Run a knife along the edges of the cake pan to loosen the shortbread as it cools.

When the shortbread is cooled, spread the honey evenly over the cake pan shortbread. Crumble the smaller shortbread and sprinkle most of the crumbs over the honey (save the rest for sprinkling over ice cream - a really good suggestion from the LA Times). Lightly press the topping into the shortbread. cut the shortbread into squares or large pieces. Combine 1 tablespoon powdered sugar with the cinnamon and sift over the shortbread before serving.

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23 comments:

Sara said...

Wow! This shortbread looks great.

What is creamy honey?

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much I love your blog. I just discovered it through a friend and it's very inspirational. Thanks for all the fabulous ideas!

Cheers!
Martine

Diana said...

Shortbread is way better than silly flowers! Flowers wilt and get moldy and gross when you forget to take them out of the vase. Who wants that??

Not me. Noooot me! ;)

Esi said...

Sara, creamy honey is just regular honey that has been whipped to a cream consistency.

Martine, thank you so much!!

Diana, you crack me up! I am right there with you!

The Food Librarian said...

This is why I love you! I saw the SAME LA Times food section article and thought, "Oh nice." but you think, "Oh nice. I'm going to make it!" Amazing! Looks great!

ttfn300 said...

omg, i want a wedge :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I have such a thing for shortbread...droooll!

Come visit me at www.aduckinherpond.com.

Donna-FFW said...

This looks so out of this world delicious. I love the sound of it. Your blog is so inspiring.

Erica said...

I'm not much for tea but I think I'd be all for this shortbread. I use to not be a honey fan at all but lately I am really starting to love it. I want to try different varieties now!

Dawn said...

Good girl! Kicking it up a notch is a good thing indeed.
This is right up my alley; I am a shortbread-aholic. hello hello!

Esi said...

Food Librarian, :)

Donna, thank you so much for the compliment!

Erica, I love using honey as an alternative to sugar.

Dawn, I think you would really like this!

Dee said...

Oh Esi, this sounds so delicious. I'm not willing to run out and get creamy honey so do you think regular (I have some macadamia honey) would work as well?

p/s
I never get flowers on Valentine's Day! Haven't since I've been married. Boo hoo ;)

Heather said...

yum!! that sounds great. i've had the "creamy honey" before, too. I bought some from a beekeeper at my FM, and it is so delicious!!

Paula said...

Mmmm ... shortbread! I've never had a recipe like this, nor have I had the creamy honey. I think it's time that I had both! What a great memory about having tea. I take mine with sugar, no milk. Now, I'll take mine with sugar, no milk, and wildflower honey shortbread!

Reeni♥ said...

This shortbread if off the charts! Creamy honey is so yummy! Your description of the honey and the crumbs and cinnamon was the clincher for me!

Kevin said...

This honied shortbread sounds so good!

veggie belly said...

I love shortbread! The wildflower honey sounds wonderful. I love the pictures with the flower!

recipes2share said...

This looks fabulous. For me a really rewarding treat is to make cookies or cakes for my children coming home from school. The smiles says everything!

Sophie said...

Esi, this looks so delicious! MMMMmmmm...

Ginger said...

There is NO WAY my shortbread is going to look like yours looks!! I will give it a try. It sounds so good and a perfect gift for Valentine's Day!! Thank you so much for sharing.

Hayley said...

This sounds amazing, and you know how I feel about honey from my last post. Can't wait to try this!

finsmom said...

Yum! I love honey! We recently visited a honey bee farm and picked up a bunch of different kinds - now I know what to make with it! Thanks for the inspiration!

Zoe Francois said...

This sounds great and looks even better. I adore honey!