Saturday, 7 January 2012

Almond Maizemeal Shortbread

Almond Maizemeal Shortbread

One of the dishes associated with Scotland is shortbread biscuits. These are quite simple to make and usually call for three ingredients – flour, sugar, butter. The sight of the cows here would explain how good the quality of butter is and these shortbreads come out so tasty. However, I was looking for rather healthy versions of baked goods. I have trying quite hard to find nice baked recipes which would not do much harm to us but on the other hand satiate cravings as well as provide nutrition. I have come across quite a few who believe that they would rather do the full fat/calorie version and enjoy small portion of it rather than a low fat/calorie version. I find it hard mainly because most of the times we underestimate how calorie rich some ingredients are and the ‘allowable’ portion size is usually far smaller than what we allow ourselves. Also, I think baking is a great way to add few ingredients that may not be that handy or delish in normal cooking. I ordered couple of vegan books with baking recipes and now beginning to try them. This original recipe is from the book Vegan Baking by Linda Majzlik and I just changed it by using butter instead of vegan margarine. The shortbread is rather crumbly so it needs to be handled with care and has to be cooled completely. Maizemeal is rich in dietary fibre, protein, vitamin B6, magnesium and omega 6 oils, vital for good heart, optimal bowel functions and fight against infections. Although the pack I used said fine maizemeal, it was a bit like semolina so I am guessing if it was as fine as flour, it will be less crumbly. Anyway, this came out very well (much to my relief as otherwise so much almonds would have gone a waste) so I am sharing it so even wheat intolerant people can enjoy shotbread.

1 cup maizemeal (100gm)
1 cup ground almond (100gm)
½ cup brown sugar (50gm)
½ teaspoon almond essence
3 tablespoons milk
50gm butter, softened

Combine maizemeal, ground almond, brown sugar and butter

Add almond essence and milk and mix well. This will form a rather flaky dough

Spoon this into a lined oven proof dish and spread so it is about 3/4th inch think and cut into 8 triangles. I used a piece of baking paper to flatten the mixture as it could be sticky

Bake in a preheated oven at 180degC for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown, then cut again as they would have kind of joined together

Let it cool in the dish for a bit and then carefully transfer to cooling rack and serve once completely cool

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