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June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Have never seen eggs in a shortbread recipe. Their absence is what gives them their name!
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
Eggs will produce a more cakey cookie texture.
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.
I am a professions baker and have been for 30 years. It may seem strange to use eggs for shortbread, however as a cutout cookie it is the best. I agree to no
eggs in traditional shortbread. But the cutout shortbread is smooth on the top, no raise to your shape and the cookie shape remains clear. A dream to decorate.
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!
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
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!
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