Pipers Brown Butter Short Bread – Daring Bakers Challenge November 2012

November 27th, 2012

Blog-checking lines: Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

We were given the choice between 12 different cookie/biscuits recipes for this months challenge. I chose the brown butter short bread, as it has been quite a while since I have browned butter for anything. The flavour in these biscuits is beautiful, with the brown butter combined with the brown sugar making these biscuits quite different to any I have made before.

Everyone loved the short bread, it had a lovely flavour and texture (It lasted about 3 days in a container). Making the short bread was quite easy too, although it was a little time consuming waiting for the butter to brown, and then let it cool to a softened butter stage.

I noticed I also needed to set it in the fridge, but didn’t have the time, so I tried to pipe it into biscuits – although only got through 4 biscuits before I called in Nick to pipe it for me. After piping one tray, I rolled the next into balls, both looked great and cooked well, although the later was much easier. (I was using a piping bag – perhaps a special cookie piper would be easier.

I would definitely make these again, I think they would be great in with some other mixed biscuits for a present.

Thanks to our host Peta and all the Daring Bakers.

11 Pipers Brown Butter Short Bread

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time:10 minutes

Makes about 48 cookies or one 20cm – 22cm (8 – 9 inch) shortbread round. Or when piped about 100 depending on how you pipe them. (My piped or rolled biscuits made about 24 biscuits)

1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (130 gm) (4½ oz) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla bean paste
1-2/3 cups (230 gm) (8 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (12 gm) table salt


Step 1
Cut the butter into smallish pieces and place in a saucepan over a low heat. Melt the butter and cook until it starts to brown and gives off a warm, nutty aroma. Stir from time to time to make sure the butter browns evenly. As it gets close to being browned enough it will foam up and you will see little brown bits in the foam. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof jug or bowl. Set aside to cool slightly and then refrigerate until it starts to set again but is not too firm. It should be the consistency of softened butter. Don’t strain out the little brown bits they taste great.

Step 2

1. Preheat the oven to moderate 300°F/ 150°C/gas mark 2.
2. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicon baking paper if making the cookies or line a loose-bottomed tart tin if making one large shortbread round.
3. Add the sugar and vanilla to the browned butter and beat until very light and fluffy and the sugar is dissolved.
4. Finally, add the flour and salt and mix for at least 2 – 4 minutes to form a soft dough.
5. If making one large shortbread round, press the dough into the tin and flatten the surface with a fork for a bit of texture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking. Bake the large shortbread round in a preheated moderate oven for about 20 – 30 minutes. If baking the large round, let cool completely in the tart tin and remove when cooled. Store in an airtight container.
6. If making cookies, flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up. Roll out the pastry to about 1/6-inch (4-mm) thickness and cut into cookies. Place the cookies on the baking sheets and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will make sure the cookies keep their shape as they bake. Bake the cookies in a preheated moderate oven for about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. You may need to rotate the sheets half way through baking to ensure even browning. They will be a golden colour when cooked.
7. You may pipe this recipe – To do so beat the mixture for ten minutes then pipe as in the Piped Shortbread Rings recipe. If you would like to do little stars you will need a star icing tip. I used a Wilton 6b or 8b.


  1. They look delicious and I like how they still worked when rolled into balls. I nearly made these cookies too, so am pleased to see how they turned out

  2. Gorgeous colour 🙂 almost like gingerbread. I love the different shapes too.

  3. Mum says:

    I loved the taste of these biscuits, they would definitely make a very nice gift at Christmas time!!! Hint, hint!!!

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