(Medieval Shortbread)


•  3 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
•  ½ cup superfine sugar (If you don’t have superfine, regular granulated sugar will do.)
•  2 tsp powdered cinnamon
•  ½ tsp powdered cardamom
•  ½ tsp powdered ginger
•  ¾ tsp powdered allspice
•  ½ tsp salt
•  1/2 lb unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 350ºF
Combine sugar, spices, and salt evenly. Separate into 2 equal portions, reserving one.
On strong, clean kneading surface (breadboard, butcher block, or counter) mix gently, by hand, one-half the spice mixture into the flour.
Squeeze butter in hands, and bit by bit add spiced flour by working it into butter on the board . Take time to thoroughly integrate dry and butter mixture.
Press batter into 8" square, shallow pan.
Score the surface of the batter to make "fingers" (2 inches by 1 inch) of shortbread . Also make several shallow fork pricks on each "finger."
With reserved spice mixture, evenly strew all cuts.
Bake 1 hour or less until firm and yellow, not brown.
Cool in pan; break into shortbread fingers and serve.

Additional Information

Often tasting better several days old, this keeps beautifully if stored in an airtight tin or tightly wrapped in tinfoil.

In practice, there will be some leftover sugar-spice mixture. You can add more to the batter and/or save the leftover for cinnamon sugar toast.