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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 almost 6 years ago
6 answers 19513 views
4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

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

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

Eggs will produce a more cakey cookie texture.

766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added almost 6 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.

77b73d1e 3263 45ff a656 c3664a471d8f  stringio
added over 2 years ago

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.

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added almost 6 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!

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Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 6 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!

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