bailey’s irish shortbread

happy st. pat’s day! as far as i know, i’m italian through and through, but irish or not, st. patty’s day really is for everyone. i’m not big on green foods like neon frosting or those odd little green cherries that folks put in fruitcake. ugh. but i did want to put a little ‘erin go bragh’ into today’s baking, so there’s nothing more irish to me than a good dose of bailey’s irish creme. the alcohol does burn off in the baking, but a mellow flavor lingers on in the cookie.

if you’ve ever been a bit apprehensive to make shortbread, this is a really great ‘first-timer’ recipe. it’s easy, bakes up well and really is quite tasty. and i hear if you eat one of these cookies on st. patty’s day, you’ll have the luck of the irish with you all year long. okay, perhaps that’s a bit of blarney…

a quick baking note: if you have a shortbread mold, by all means use it. if you don’t, as you’ll see in my photos (my only shortbread mold is christmas-themed. somehow that didn’t seem appropriate for march 17th!), feel free to use two 8″ round cake pans.

and if you don’t have any bailey’s in the house, or prefer to bake without the alcohol, just replace the irish creme with vanilla. the shortbread is still quite delicious!!

bailey’s irish shortbread

ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, soft and room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bailey’s irish creme liquor (or 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
2 cups all-purpose flour (i use king arthur flour)
1/2 cup white rice flour (i use bob’s red mill, finely ground)

instructions:

1. preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. prepare either your shortbread molds (as per your manufacturer’s instructions) or 2 8″ round cake pans, greased lightly.
3. cream your butter until smooth.
4. add sugar, salt and bailey’s (or vanilla), beating with the butter until smooth and fluffy.
5. add the flour and rice flour, beating just until smooth.
6. divide the dough into two round circles, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least one hour until well chilled.
7. when ready to bake, press each round of dough into the prepared pans, flattening with fingers, pie crust presser or offset spatula, until smooth and even in each pan. with a fork, liberally prick through the dough to prevent it from puffing up during baking. I used a deep set meat tenderizer, and added additional fork pricks. but i wasn’t being fussy about what the finished cookie looked like! i like a zillion dots! if you have more discriminating, artistic flair, feel free to use your fork to make lovely patterns!


8. place in oven, and bake until golden brown, usually about 35 minutes. About 20 minutes in, use your offset spatula to press down any areas that may be trying to puff up. Continue baking until golden brown.
9. remove from oven and cool in pans for 15 minutes. loosen the edges with your spatula, then turn molds/pans over onto a flat surface (i use a cutting board). tap the bottom and the whole cookie should pop right out.
10. while still warm, cut cookie into 16 slices (see photo above). i simply cut in half, and half again, until i have 8 cookie wedges, then cut each of the 8 in half again to make 16 cookies. there’s always some crumbs left behind – they are great on a bowl of ice cream!

yield: makes 32 cookies (or 16 wedges if you want to serve them as a dessert with a generous serving of ice cream atop each wedge!)

enjoy!

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