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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recipe: Honey Shortbread

We all like to have a sweet treat now and then, but who says that dessert has to be bad for us? Substituting sugar for natural sweeteners like honey and molasses can give your baking a boost in flavour and nutrition, while also letting you cut down on sugar.

Try to use honey produced in the Lower Mainland or in the province when you can. In Burnaby, for instance, some people keep honeybees in their backyards for honey. Check out our post on urban apiculture (beekeeping) for more information. Farmers' markets and some grocery stores are also good places to find local honey. Scroll to the bottom of this post for more.

This recipe is from our Holiday Edition Healthy Holiday Baking workshop.

Tip: Brush a little oil on the inside of the measuring spoon (or cup) and the honey will slide right out without sticking or creating a mess.

Honey Shortbread

To email, print, or text this recipe, click here.


1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Cooking oil, for pan

Things you need

Mixing bowls
Measuring cups and spoons
9 1/2-inch springform pan
Pastry brush or spoon
Pastry cutter
Wire rack

Source: Mimi on the Move


1. Coat the bottom of the springform pan with a small amount of oil.

2. Mix the flour and sugar together.

3. Add the butter to the flour mixture and work it in using a pastry cutter, or your hands, until the butter is evenly mixed. When ready, the dough will be coarse and crumbly. Be sure not to overwork the dough.

4. Press the dough evenly into the pan with your fingers. There will be some loose shortbread crumbs around the edge of the pan, but most of the dough should be solid and compact.

5. Refrigerate the dough until chilled, for about 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prick the dough evenly on the surface with a fork.

7. Bake the shortbread for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden in the centre.

8. Heat the honey in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl over hot water until warm and liquid. Pour the melted honey over the shortbread and spread it even with a spoon.

9. Sprinkle the coarse salt evenly over the honey.

10. Return the pan to the oven to bake for 3 minutes.

11. Remove the pan from the oven and put it on the cooling rack. Let the shortbread cool for 15 minutes before releasing the base on the springform pan. The shortbread will still be warm but not hot to the touch.

12. Cut the shortbread into wedges with a sharp knife.

13. Cool completely before serving or storing. The shortbread will keep for up to 1 week at room temperature in an airtight container.

Local Honey Resources:

Janice Bobic, Burnaby honey producer, of My Father's Garden (604) 298-6164
Burnaby Farmers' Market
Vancouver Winter Farmers' Market

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