Friday, December 2, 2011

Skor Shortbread

Shortbread cookies didn't appeal to me until very recently.  During summer and winter school breaks, I used to work in a commercial kitchen.  One December, I had to bake an even thousand of Granny Knight's shortbread cookies for Christmas receptions.  That year, the chef decided that Crème de menthe parfaits topped with Granny's shortbread was the de rigeur Christmas dessert.  With a maraschino cherry on top, it looked like a yuletide train-wreck.  Still today, the smell of crème de menthe makes my gag reflex kick in.  Just looking at a bottle of day-glo green de Kuyper in a liquor store is enough to make me avert my gaze and shuffle along quickly.   After that holiday season was over, it was only normal that simply thinking about shortbread was a form of self-inflicted torture.

Despite the fact that everyone raved about my baking skills and the light, tender, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread I managed to create, the beauty of shortbread was lost on me.  I simply used to throw about 5 pounds of butter in the huge, industrial Hobart mixer and put it on BEAT and walk away for about 10 minutes.  When the mixer started to sound like the space shuttle about to take off, it was my cue to add flour and cornstarch and icing sugar, finishing the dough before the old gray Hobart launched itself into orbit.  To say I used to abuse the dough was an understatement.  I put so much disdain into making those cookies, that when people commented, "I can just taste the love that went into these", it was all I could do to stop my 18 year-old eyes from rolling back into my head.  If only you knew - was what I'd think.  Thankfully, the edit and pause buttons in my brain were still functioning in those days.  I'd smile gracefully and nod my head.

To this day, I attribute beating the hell out of the butter to my shortbread success.  That and Granny Knight's recipe - which I have duly repressed.

Last winter, I came across this recipe that would change my mind about shortbread forever.

Skor Shortbread.  I mean -  think about it - a Skor bar in any form is amazing, and baked up in this shortbread, it's nothing short of divine.  You cannot go wrong.

These make great gifts.  And they're easy - just mix, pat, bake and cut.  No fancy shaping, no chilling and rolling out, no icing, just straight-up mix, pat, bake and cut.  Easy-peasy.  Go out and buy yourself some cute Christmas cookie tins, make a few batches, and you'll be set for those last-minute OMG-I-have-to-bring-something-along gifts.

Skor Shortbread

2 - 39g Skor Chocolate Bars
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 300F.

Crush one Skor bar into rough, 1/4" pieces.  Set aside remaining chocolate bar.

Beat butter until smooth.  Gradually beat in sugar until mixture is light and fluffy.

Mix in vanilla and salt.

Using a mixing spoon, mix in 1 cup of flour until just mixed.  Add chopped Skor bar along with remaining 1/4 cup flour. 

Pat into an ungreased 8" square baking dish, and using floured fingers, pat into an even thickness.  Pierce with a fork every 1".

Finely chop remaining chocolate bar, and sprinkle on top.

Bake on bottom rack of 300F preheated oven, about 35 to 40 minutes, until edges are golden brown and middle is pale golden.  Immediately cut into squares.  Cool completely in pan.

My Notes:

Buy the 4-pack of Skor bars at the grocery store.  You can thank me when you make your second batch and don't have to run out for more.

If you have Skor baking bits, by all means, use them.  I also add in a small handful of chocolate chips when substituting them and use my trusty Braun blender to chop everything finer than 1/4" pieces...I'm all about consistency like that.  Your cookie - your choice.

I line my metal baking pan with parchment paper, this helps the unmolding.
The original recipe calls to cut 16 squares - I cut them in half again on the diagonal, so I end up with 32 triangles.  It's your preference.  The more the merrier in my books.


Anonymous said...

I made these and they are awesome, thanks for posting. From a long time lurker, first time poster.

Robin said...

That sounds really good. I want to make some but what are Skor bars?

Shim Farm said...

OMG ROBIN...I am SO SORRY you don't know about Skor bars in the US! What is this...first Coffee Crisp bars, and now Skor bars? It CANNOT BE!!! What is this cruel, cruel world we live in? Wiki says it's available in the States though -

It would be a sad twist of fate if these were not available in your area LOL! Or maybe you never noticed them...and now I've put you onto something evil LOL...!

Skor is like the Diam bars you can buy at Ikea (don't know if you remember those from your past life), sort of like a butter-y nut brittle coated with chocolate...yummm...Baker's Chocolate markets Skor bits, but maybe not in the States? I'll have to do a bit more sleuthing, because quick google searches are showing these Baker's Skor bits as a quintessentially Canadian thing!

Robin said...

Ah, I should have wiki'd it too. I've never seen them in the store but we do have heath bars (WHICH I LOVE). In fact, I just made some cookies with heath bits.

I'm going to admit something awful now. Every once in a while I get in a craving for those little bars and I will buy a bag of them. Then me and the bag spend some happy munching on time together. :)

Shim Farm said...

Yup, I checked out Heath bars (which we don't have here), and it appears to be the same things as a Skor bar. They're both made by Hershey unless Wiki is lying to me LOL. We can't get bags of tiny Skor bars here, but Werther's toffee crunch chocolates...well. Just pass the bag and no one gets hurt LOL. My self-control flies out of the window with those!

Phew. I am glad we got the Skor/Heath bar thing solved. I was thinking I'd have to airlift you some LOL!

Sue at the Little Shack said...

Holey moley these look yummy!!! I'm going to have to try this! 2 of my favorite treats combined!! Who could ask for more?!?! Thanks so much!

Shim Farm said...

Hullo Sue - thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comment - and please - do try these shortbread, they are sublime!

Robin said...

So I have had this post open on my computer ever since you first put it up. I really wanted to make it but my love affair with those candies always voids my efforts.

On a odd note, there is a little convenience store not far from us. I needed some canned beans and didn't feel like driving all the way to town so I popped in. And what do I see sitting side by side... you guessed it. A Heath bar and a Skor bar. So being me I had to buy one of each for a taste test. :)

They both have the same ingredients in them except for one thing. A few of the ingredients were listed in different orders so I am guessing maybe a slight change in the amount used. They were very similar but not quite the same. I'm not sure what was different or how it could be. Lee thought there was a slight difference too.

Anyway...I still haven't made this, but I think about it all the time. :/

Shim Farm said...

Oh hahaha, I found 2 lonely Skor bars in the bottom of my baking drawer, and instead of doing the "right" thing (baking), I ate them both LOL.

Next time I'm at the convenience store, I'll have to check out Heath bars. Actually, I've been meaning to drive to Malone, NY for some cross-border shopping, and I'll make a point to check them out LOL.

Mr. Custom's Officer: "Purpose for your visit, ma'am?"

Moi: "Going to buy me some Heath bars".

I'll probably end up in jail, or something LOL.

Robin said...

I DID IT!!! They were very good and I do plan on making some for the holidays again.

I would love to go through customs with a suitcase of Heath bars just to make them scratch their heads. Hahhahaaaaaa

Shim Farm said...

Yaaaay! Way to go! I am so happy you finally made them!

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