|Rose water shortbread with bittersweet chocolate base.|
|Great Great Uncle James.|
He is a masterful storyteller. His use of language is captivating. It's easy to journey through his life as though having been present at every turn. It gives me hope that somewhere in my genetic make up there's a little of the same storytelling DNA floating about.
It seems his purpose for telling his story is twofold. One, the nuts and bolts of successful newspaper publishing. And two, to show that with faith, determination and gumption anyone can succeed in their vocation. Do I hear an Amen?
Rose Water Shortbread with Bittersweet ChocolateAdapted from 3 Martha Stewart shortbread recipes: here, here and Classic Shortbread recipe in the 2010 Holiday Cookies issue.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup + 2 Tbs confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
1 Tbs rose water
5 oz bittersweet chocolate
- Spray an 8 inch square pan or round tart pan with removable bottom or stone cookie mould generously with spray oil. If using a regular pan I also line with parchment and add a little more spray oil on to that. My first three attempts with the baking stone I didn't spray enough! Set aside.
- Combine flours, set aside.
- In a mixer fixed with paddle attachment cream butter and sugar. Add rose water. *If you are not going to add chocolate later reduce rose water to 2 tsp. The chocolate will overpower the rose if not enough rose water, but the rose will overwhelm the shortbread if too much.* It is important to add the rose water at this stage. It will change the texture entirely if added at the end or after the flour is added.
- Add flour mixture all at once until combined. It will be crumbly at first but keep going until it forms a stiff dough.
- Place dough on plastic wrap and using the wrap form dough into disk. Place disk in middle of stone mould and press into whole mould using the plastic wrap. Same process with other pans. Let chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, pierce dough (not all the way through) all over. Bake until light golden brown and firm-ish in the center. This can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes. depending on pan. Re-pierce (not all the way through and not as often) with wooden skewer or chopstick to make slightly larger holes - this will grab the melted chocolate later and keep it from easily flopping off when all is cooled and done. Let cool 10 minutes on wire rack.
- To unmould, place a tea towel onto a cutting board and then turn over onto mould so tea towel is between mould and cutting board. Invert so mould is upside down on teatoweled cutting board. Tap mould and cutting board very firmly on hard work surface. You may need an offset spatula or knife to loosen the edges first. Lift mould and using tea towel drag shortbread back onto wire rack to cool completely.
- In a double broiler (pot with a few inches of simmering water and bowl placed on top - not touching the water) melt chocolate. Let cool.
- Invert shortbread again so the bottom is facing upwards. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate and let harden.
- Turn over, slice into wedges and enjoy!