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Vanilla Shortbread to Roll Out

Asked by marianne73. Answered on 2nd September 2013

Full question

I was wondering if Nigella's Vanilla Shortbread recipe is suitable for use with cookie cutters rather than baking in a pan? Thanks.

Our answer

Nigella's Vanilla Shortbread recipe (from Forever Summer) is pressed into a Swiss roll tin rather than being rolled out. We suspect that this recipe would not be particularly suitable for rolling out and cutting as it contains a mixture of flour and cornflour. The addition of cornflour gives the shortbread a melt-in-the-mouth texture due to its lack of gluten. However it is also this lack of gluten that will make the dough difficult to roll out. The high proportion of butter will also make the dough a little sticky if it is rolled, and rolling out on a floured surface (to prevent sticking) would change the proportions in the recipe and result in a tougher cookie.

If you would like to make shaped vanilla cookies then we would suggest trying Nigella's Butter Cutout Biscuits (from Domestic Goddess) or the Creepy Cookies (from Nigella's website). The dough for both of these cookies rolls and cuts out well, holds its shape when baking and still tastes good, with a melting buttery texture.

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