Shortbread - Unsweetened, with Variations

A friend who's an S.C.A. herald was grumbling that though people brought lots of sweet stuff to bribe/encourage the people who work at the consulting tables, some folks react badly to sugar. Couldn't anyone come up with unsweetened snacks, he asked? A couple of hours and a couple of batches later...

3 c white flour
(replace up to 1/2 cup of this with cocoa, ground nuts, etc.; add spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, etc.)
1 c butter or margarine
1/8 tsp salt
cold water

Cut together flour (and optional other dry ingredients), salt, and butter with pastry blender until well mixed. Add cold water a spoonful at a time, mixing well, to give a soft dough which holds together. Roll dough 1/2 " thick and cut into 1 1/2 " rounds or squares. Bake at 350°F about 25-30 min. or until lightly browned.

Using 1/2 c cocoa gives a very strongly-flavoured and rather bitter biscuit. Maybe carob powder would be milder.

Using 1/2 c ground almonds and 2 tsp almond extract works nicely.

Copyright (C) 1997 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5 but remove the XYZZy - it's a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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