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Eggs in cookies: how does adding / subtracting eggs change the texture of cookies? making shortbread--some recipes have eggs, some don't....

asked by apawarren about 3 years ago
5 answers 7144 views
Junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

Have never seen eggs in a shortbread recipe. Their absence is what gives them their name!

Gator_cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Eggs will produce a more cakey cookie texture.

5.15.11_coconut_macaroons_best_sm
added about 3 years ago

I'm with ChefJune--eggs in shortbread? So weird! That would turn out more like a shortbread cookie, rather cakey in texture. Eggs also add a certain amount of leavening, so including them in a recipe produces a higher lift to whatever you're baking. To me, classic shortbread never has eggs.

Img_0113
added about 3 years ago

I do a fair amount of egg-free baking for my daughter (who is allergic to eggs), so shortbread is in heavy rotation at our house. All the recipes I've seen have never included eggs, though some will vary the flour component (subbing out half the flour with cornstarch ) or the sugar component (subbing out half the granulated sugar for powdered sugar). There are, however, delicious french butter cookies (Fr: punitions) which - like shortbread - are built on a similar foundation of butter, sugar, and flour - but go one step further with the addition of egg. Dorie Greenspan has a wonderful recipe, and I believe Amanda Hesser has written about these cookies as well. I would characterize the difference between the cookies less in terms of "cakey-ness" and more in terms of a certain richness - both in flavor and mouth-feel. Anyhow, perhaps this clarifies some of the confusion? Good luck, both are delicious!

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

Shortbread is so named for the high amount of butter it typically contains. The high ratio of fat to flour is what breaks apart, or shortens, the strands of gluten, the protein in flour. Hence, "short"bread. You'll certainly find eggs in sugar cookies, but not classically in shortbread. Shortbread recipes tend to compensate for the high-fat and shortened gluten strands by using bread flour rather than all-purpose flour because it contains a higher percentage of gluten. Leave out the eggs, use bread flour, make great shortbread!