Currant-Caraway Shortbread

By • January 15, 2012 • 18 Comments


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Author Notes: These are a shortbread lover's version of Irish Soda Bread, studded with currants and caraway seeds and a bit of whole wheat flour. They are heavenly with some blue cheese and a glass of prosecco, or a cup of good black tea, or just all by themselves. calendargirl

Food52 Review: WHO: Calendargirl is an artist living in Washington, D.C. She was part of the team that catalogued Julia Child's kitchen for the Smithsonian!
WHAT: The best things about soda bread -- in cookie form.
HOW: Make an easy shortbread dough, chill it, cut it, and bake it. Enjoy with a cup of tea or a glass of Prosecco.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love how calendargirl takes two Irish classics -- soda bread and shortbread -- and creates the perfect hybrid. The result: a sweet-savory cookie, studded with currants and caraway seeds, that we'd gladly eat any time of day.
A&M

Makes 3 to 4 dozen shortbreads, depending on size

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 scant cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1 generous tablespoon whole caraway seeds
  1. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add all other ingredients and mix until they are well combined, another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from processor and roll out on lightly-floured surface into a free-form shape, roughly 7 x 10 inches and about 1/4 inch thick. I like to roll out the dough on waxed paper or parchment.
  4. Transfer the dough to a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 350° F and using a sharp knife, cut the dough into desired shapes. Rustic rectangles work well, and it is not necessary to re-roll the scraps if you are satisfied with some irregular edges, which I think are especially nice for these. As long as your cookies are roughly the same size, they will bake evenly.
  6. Place the shapes on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake about 10 to 14 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are light brown. Let the shortbreads cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Comments (18) Questions (1)

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about 1 month ago EmilyC

Made these today for our St. Paddy's feast tonight -- delicious and so simple to make! I've never made shortbread with cold butter before (is Scottish shortbread made this way?) and I loved the texture and crumb. This is a keeper! Congrats again on the well-deserved WC.

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about 1 month ago calendargirl

So glad, Emily! And greetings on this snowy (!) St. Paddy's Day.

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about 1 month ago Scribbles

I just made this to go with tonight's dinner - they were so easy to put together and totally yummy! I got about 16 pieces and they are perfectly browned and a bit crisp around the edges. I'll be sharing this recipe and making it again and again…thanks!

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about 1 month ago calendargirl

Thank you, so glad you like them, Scribbles!

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about 1 month ago vvvanessa

Super idea!

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about 1 month ago calendargirl

Thanks, vvvanessa. Hope you'll try them.

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about 1 month ago bonbonmarie

Congrats! can't wait to try these

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about 1 month ago calendargirl

Thank you, I hope you'll like them.

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about 1 month ago healthierkitchen

hurray calendargirl!! These sound delicious!

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about 1 month ago calendargirl

Thanks, Wendy. Let me know if you try them!

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about 1 month ago Marian Bull

Marian is an editor at Food52.

This is everything I like in a shortbread: a little savory, a little chewy, butter through and through. Adding it to my short list! (ha, ha.)

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about 1 month ago calendargirl

Short list, indeed. Hope you like, Marian!

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about 1 month ago EmilyC

Congrats on your WC win, calendargirl! These look delicious -- can't wait to try them!

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about 1 month ago calendargirl

Thank you, Emily! What a lovely surprise. Hope you'll like them half as much as I adore your cherry, cardamom & pistachio ice box cookies.

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

calendargirl, these look great! I love shortbread. But I have a question for you-- where is the vanilla?

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over 1 year ago calendargirl

Hi drbabs, so funny --- entering these was a mistake which I wish I could blame on a hurricane-addled brain but alas, I am just a total flake. I asked the editors if they would remove it when I realized what I had done, but Kenzi kindly told me they don't have a way to do that, but that she would alert the recipe testers. So sorry! But I hope you'll try these anyway one day.

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

That is funny. Hmmm, I bet if you scraped in the seeds from a vanilla bean in place of the caraway, these would be an amazing homage to vanilla.

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over 1 year ago calendargirl

That's a great idea and I am going to try it. But right now we are packing up our lives for a temporary move-out so virtually all of our floor can be replaced following a burst pipe which flooded the place. Sheesh -- colossal headache, but really nothing more, and it is forcing a major clean up and divesting of stuff which was long overdue. We are trying to get it all done before Thanksgiving. But THEN I am going to do the vanilla version! BTW, I have enjoyed your shortbreads on Food52, esp the meyer lemon and olive ones.