The Best Christmas Devon Cream Shortbread Recipe
For The Love Of My Mom
This recipe exists in my messy little file folder because my Mom fell in love with Devon Cream Shortbread while we stumbled across the cliffs of Dorset in the cold winter winds. I am sharing this recipe and my Faux Devon Cream recipe, presenting some shortbread baking molds, insulated cookie sheets, parchment paper, and stand mixers -- all used for making the best Devon Cream shortbread ever -- and talking about the feelings and ideas we associate with Christmas baking.
This is my own recipe, developed after returning from a wonderful trip through southwest England with my tiny family, including my sweet and kind Mom, or as they say in Britain, "Mum." Mum developed a taste for this amazingly smooth and tenderly sweet cookie after purchasing a massive tin of Devon Cream Shortbread while at a weekly market in Dorchester. Since returning home to Canada we have not been able to find a shortbread to match it's texture and flavour, so I decided to create my own Devon Cream Shortbread recipe and I make it for Mum for Christmas.
I would like to take you through a discussion of Devon Cream and Clotted Cream (what a name!), and when to serve it.
This recipe is part of the promised High Tea recipes that I mention in my article, Double Devious Mugatu Cherry Mini Cupcakes! Even if you do not choose to make any of the recipes that I make available, I can only hope to encourage you to have a Christmas High Tea in your home, serving mini sweets and savouries.
All images (if not otherwise stated), writing, and recipes are copyright be me - Teapixie! :)
What In The World Is Clotted Cream? Ooooo - Ick!
For years and years I would be having tea and listening to people talk about clotted cream, like it was good. I couldn't get past the name.
And then, I had Devon Cream.
Devon Cream and clotted cream seem pretty similar to me, and they're both unbelievably creamy with a very light sweetness. Served with jam on scones and there is nothing that compares to clotted cream/Devon Cream. Go figure?
If you decide to have a Christmas High Tea, make a point of including Devon Cream. It is the ultimate elegant and luscious cream to serve with scones or biscuits and is always partnered with jam.
What Do You Think Clotted Cream Is?
Best Devon Cream Shortbread Ever
To come up with this recipe I read and baked many different shortbread recipes and then began testing different quantities of the ingredients. I have heard that substituting 1 cup of rice flour can make for a lighter recipe.
I have not tried this recipe using the Faux Devon Cream recipe. When I do, I will return to write about it.
Check with your grocer for store bought versions of Devon Cream or clotted cream to use in this recipe.
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1.5 cups Devon Cream
- 4 cups unbleached white flour
- 1, Place sugar and Devon Cream in a deep bowl or bowl of stand mixer.
- 2. Using hand-held blender or mixing attachment, blend.
- 3. Add flour and stir until just blended.
- At this point you get to choose how you want to bake your shortbread. If you have shortbread molds, fill them. If you have cookie cutters, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch and cut shapes. My Mom always makes her shortbread by rolling it out and cutting it into squares with a knife.
- Bake at 325 degrees Farenheit for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Photo Credit: public domain with edits
The Ultimate Shortbread Recipe Tip
Do not over-mix your dough.
Why? It will make your cookies tough.
Simply incorporate your flour and STOP MIXING.
(hee hee hee heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)
Do You Make Shortbread At Christmas?
Faux Devon Cream
The best thing about Devon Cream is its richness. The worst thing about Devon Cream is its richness. I came up with this recipe when I came back from Dorset, wanted to have tea and scones with jam and Devon Cream, and couldn't find Devon Cream on our store shelves. Because I had to make my own, I also chose to make a lower-fat version.
I have not tried this cream in my shortbread recipe, but I might!
- 3/4 cup low-fat or no fat cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons low-fat or no fat sour cream
- 1.5 tablespoons powdered or icing sugar
- Place all ingredients in a shallow bowl and stir.
- Serve in a teacup, with a tiny dessert or demi-tasse spoon, beside a teacup of jam with its own spoon.
For making shortbread, I like a stand mixer because it incorporates the ingredients quickly. I have fallen in love with my KitchenAid stand mixer, so I am presenting a few versions for you to consider.
Always Room For One More At The Table!
We have so many different feelings and connotations involved in Christmas. And then there is the baking.
Every year I survey my family to determine each person's most needed baked treat. Of course, it's really difficult for each person to choose just one item, but I think it's really important that our baking be limited and that the items I bake be exceptionally special.
Usually, my list includes the following:
Devon Cream shortbread
I think I have eaten Nanaimo bars at Christmas since I was old enough to eat. I was born on Vancouver Island, only a few short miles from Nanaimo. For me, making and eating these bars is about linking back to my childhood and the glorious, positive spin that my Mom and Dad put on Christmas. My Dad brought us up to remember, "There is always room for one more at the table," and I love to share around the pan of bars.
My daughter needs the gingerbread house. Honestly? I think it's all about sticking on as much candy as she can manage, with the intent of eating it all. At this age, connotations and feelings are being developed. Many of my daughter's friends have enjoyed the candy stuck to these houses and the demolition derby that occurs when it's time to eat the gingerbread.
My husband asks for the fruit pies. He grew up on an orchard. It's all about a taste of his childhood.
And my Mom just likes to revisit our days on the shores of Dorset, filled with afternoons of tea and Devon Cream shortbread.
What about you?
What Do Christmas Cookies Mean To You?
Shortbread Cookie Molds
I have used molds and I have eaten shortbread made in molds. Using a mold is definitely an elegant choice. If you're looking for a more rustic biscuit, cut your shortbread with a knife.
The Weirdest Gingerbread House
When I was a kid I won a gingerbread house. At least, that's what the lady on the telephone said.
I got so excited! Imagine a whole house of gingerbread and candy.
Well, it wasn't. In fact, the house was made out of cardboard and had a few candies stuck to it. I was sooooo disappointed.
I remember that someone from the newspaper came to take my photo with the house and I had to work really, really hard to smile. I was so shocked that the house wasn't made of gingerbread and that the candies were glued on. I couldn't eat very many of them.
I guess that is when I learned: Always deliver on a promise.
Now, when I tell this story, I laugh and laugh. It's always a good chuckle at Christmastime. So, in the end, it was worth something. :)
Insulated Cookie Sheets
I bake. A lot. I bake bread and cookies twice a week.
I can't live without my insulated cookie sheets. I avoid no-stick pans because I do not like the way they wear. I would rather have a permanently stained pan, that I use parchment on, than be worried about people ingesting the coating from a non-stick pan. I know that the technology has changed over the years but I'm pretty convinced that simple works.
So, here are great insulated pans for you to choose for baking your shortbread. At the end is a parchment paper options as well.
It's a pretty simple recipe. So is the Faux Devon Cream recipe. When I have tried using the Faux Devon Cream recipe in a shortbread recipe, I'll return to tell the tale.
Please let us know about your Christmas baking list!