Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A thinly veiled excuse to break out the masa harina again

Brown Sugar Shortbread (aka Scottish Churros)
Adapted from a recipe I clipped years ago from The LA Times. These buttery, rich, slightly cinnamon-flavored shortbread cookies are very, very good on their own, of course.  Fabulous, actually.  But honestly? I baked them this weekend for a reason.

As psuedo-churros*, they totally qualify for dunking in that Mexican Hot Chocolate.

1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/3 c. flour (NOTE: you can sub in masa harina for half the flour.  A reader says it rocks!)
Additional cinnamon sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 325.

Using electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add brown sugar, mix again. Add egg yolk, mix again, then add salt and cinnamon. Fold in flour using wooden spoon, working just until combined. Do not over mix -- dough may still be a little crumbly.

Press mixture into either a 9 inch square pan, or a 9 inch round springform pan, using your fingers to make sure it is evenly spread out and no dry spots remain. If using a round pan, cut lines across the dough with a sharp knife to form 12 wedges. If using a square pan, cut squares or rectangles of whatever size cookies you'd like. Using a toothpick or a wooden skewer, poke a few holes in each cookie. Sprinkle the pan with a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes, until edges are golden brown and center is firm to the touch but still has a little give. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so. If you are using a spingform pan, remove the sides of the pan, then cut into wedges along the previously formed lines. If using a square pan, carefully turn out the entire pan of cookies onto a baking rack, then use the baking rack to help turn the cookies right side up again onto a cutting board. Cut into smaller cookies along the previously formed lines.

Allow to cool completely, then serve.
With a warm cup of you know what.

Anyone know how to say "Nuff said!" in Spanish?**

Click to Print this recipe!

* Like the grilled cheese churros, but easier to make without a frying pan, and a lot crunchier.
** Apparently, it is "No digo mas!"


  1. hi, your recipe says break out the masa harina, but the recipe calls for flour. What give? I've got a bunch of masa harina and I want to make cookies!

    1. Hi Joe! Shame on me for the self-referential titling..this was referring to this prior post. I shared a recipe there (at the end) for Mexican Hot Chocolate made with masa harina, in which these cookies can be dunked most deliciously. I recommend you try that with your stash. Truly decadent!

  2. I, too, found this recipe while searching for cookies made with masa, and though the recipe only calls for regular flour, I kept coming back to it. I love shortbread and the thought of making shortbread with some masa just sounded like it would have the toothiness and crunch I wanted. So I subbed HALF the flour in this recipe for masa harina. I followed the recipe exactly and made no other adjustments. The dough was very dry, but when I pressed it into the 9x9 pan, it came together just as it should. I did butter the pan beforehand. I scored them and poked little holes in the top, the whole 9 yards. When they were done (at exactly 45 min), I pulled them out, let them cool exactly 16 minutes (I couldn't wait the extra 4 minutes...it was killing me!), inverted them onto a cutting board and then reversed them onto another to cut them. They cut beautifully without a crack. Then....wait for it...I got a glass of cold milk and sat down to THE MOST HEAVENLY things I had ever tasted. My family unanimously voted them the best thing I've EVER made (and trust me, I make a LOT of yummy desserts!) and polished off the pan just like that. My picky husband, house guests from NY, 15 yr old, 12 yr old and 3 yr old all went back for thirds. That was last night and I am back to the recipe tonight to leave this comment and make them again. They are a touch salty, by the way, but that is one of the BEST things about them. :) So thank you, Sharon...with half masa harina flour, these are to die for!

    1. That is so cool! I'm totally going to try this next time I make these, and update the recipe to let people know to try that variation. Thank you!!!