Last year, my sister sent me one of those Better Homes and Gardens Christmas cookie magazines. I have baked a couple of recipes out of it, but I haven't made any concerted effort to work my way through it. That might have to change.
Yesterday, I decided to give a recipe for oatmeal shortbread a try. I was drawn by its simplicity and its unusual composition. As I'm fairly inexperienced when it comes to making shortbread, I left most of the basics alone. I tweaked the spices and the sugar a little, and I think it turned out better than if I would have left them alone.
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons milk
1 tablespoon coarse or granulated sugar
Heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and toast oats on a large baking sheet for 8 minutes (or until golden brown). Let cool completely.
In a food processor, combine 1/3 cup of the toasted oats, your flour, brown sugar, and spices. Cover and process until the oats are ground (about 5 or 10 seconds). Add butter and process until the mixture comes together.
Form dough into a ball and pat down in an 8-inch circle on your cookie sheet (ungreased). Make a scalloped edge, and brush dough lightly with milk. Sprinkle with the remaining oats and with the granulated sugar, press lightly. Cut the circle into 8 or 10 wedges, leaving them in a circle.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the center is set. Do not let the edges burn. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wile rack and let cool.
I found this recipe simple, quick, and relatively painless. I would scallop my edges a bit more fiercely the next time around, but otherwise it turned out pretty much as advertised. This shortbread is soft without being chewy, and has just enough crumb to make it a real shortbread. The oats give the final product a more interesting texture without sacrificing any of its buttery goodness. Delightful!