Sherlock and shortbread.

I finally watched “Sherlock Holmes” this weekend on HBO — the Guy Ritchie version, not to be confused with PBS’s recent “Sherlock” series. (I loved the PBS series, which cleverly updates the characters to modern times.)

I’m a huge fan of Guy Ritchie’s, ever since I saw “Snatch” at the movie theatre by mistake. I like his cheeky take on things, and I find his camera angles and direction to be really interesting, dare I say genius. Ok, I’m easily impressed. I don’t usually care much about Robert Downey, Jr., or even Jude Law, but I thought the movie was entertaining, and definitely watchable. More importantly, it inspired me to bake.

Something about the cold, somber shots of industrial, 19th century London made me crave a spot of hot tea … with shortbread. So in my usual, rash display of weekend binge cooking (or baking, as it may be), I made homemade shortbread at 10 pm.

I happened to have some Kerrygold Irish butter on hand — oh my. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. It’s got a creaminess and body that are severely lacking in our butter stateside. And good butter just makes shortbread. (You can find Kerrygold butter at Trader Joe’s for much less than at the regular grocery store.)

The verdict:  it’s frighteningly easy, and addictively delicious. I’ve already eaten 3/4 of that batch, so I’m trying not to do mental conversions to find the volume of butter I’ve ingested. Hey, you only live once. Until you eat too much butter.

Here’s the recipe — per Ina Garten, you could also dip yours in melted chocolate. (Whoa.)


Scottish Shortbread 

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cornstarch added to all purpose flour to make 1 1/2 cups

Preheat the oven to 300° F.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and salt until well mixed and fluffy. Gradually sift in the cornstarch and flour until it’s incorporated, but don’t overmix. It will be crumbly, but if it’s too dry, add water by the teaspoonful until it comes together.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead it a couple of times. Press it down into the bottom of an 8″ square baking pan. (I used a square cake pan.) Prick the top of the dough with a fork in a pattern — whatever design you wish.

Bake at 300° for 45-50 minutes until it’s golden around the sides of the pan. Cool on a wire rack until barely warm, 10 minutes or so. Run a knife almost all the way through to make outlines for the bars. Let them cool completely and cut or break into bars.


*Adapted from Joy of Cooking


4 thoughts on “Sherlock and shortbread.

    • Ha. I think he might be too quirky, and he hasn’t been in any movies I’ve loved. If you give me a list of must-see movies he’s done, I’ll study up and see if I can come around.

      • Well, admittedly, none of them are must-see recently, unless you go way back to some cheesy sentimental favorites like Less Than Zero, The Pick Up Artist or Chances Are. He’s just a great underdog to root for, I think, and has made one hell of a comeback.

  1. Angie Myers says:

    They have that butter with the free bread they are always giving away at my Harris Teeter (which I attack while waiting in the deli line). It’s sooo good. I totally have to buy it one of these days – and I’m excited to know Trader Joe’s carries it cheaper!

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