February 19, 2011

Better with Butter- Fiandino "Special Ingredient"

I have often repeated my mother-in-law's mantra, "Spend more time shopping and less time cooking."
I can also add to this and say spend more money on quality ingredients. When she talked about spending time shopping, try to invision the Italian way of shopping. Seatching out the BEST butcher and shops that carry the best products near your home.

Today it is much easier to get high quality products even at American grocery stores and many artisans have website and ship.

I was asked to participate in a recipe development project for an Italian Artisan cheese and butter company. How could I say no- I ADORE butter!

This butter is incredible! In Italy, salt was an item often for the wealthy. The word "salary" comes from sale- the word for salt and Roman soldiers were given a bag of salt as part of the pay.

Butter is also sold unsalted, until today! I was so thrilled to taste this fabulous salted butter from the Fiadino Fattoria in Piemonte.

They use a wonderful Sicilian sea salt added to the cream just before it turns to butter, leaving the salt crystals intact. The butter is also special, in that is is made from "rested" cream. They leave the cream to develop more flavors before making the butter.

For the contest, they were looking for 70 bloggers to create recipes using the salted butter. They will chose 30 of the recipes to publish in a cookbook. My friend Sandra, Un Tocco di Zenzero, is collaborating and will oversee the publishing of the book. Will be fun to see all the recipes.

I decided to continue my research on gluten-free recipes and make  a rice flour shortbread. It is 100% rice flour, sugar and the secret ingredient, Fiandino's salted butter.

my rice flour shortbread
As you can immagine, butter is the star in this shortbread recipe. I decided to add some chocolate nibs and orange zest to the dough, sort of a new chocolate chip cookie.

With the rice flour, the shortbread takes on a very sandy consistency and needs to rest for a day to really solidify, since I am not using an egg.

Like the cream that is "rested"  to make the butter, the resting of the cookie also increases the orange flavor in the cookie.

I left these cookies at home with my husband as I had to leave for a teaching tour in California.
I am sure I will have to make more when I get back!

melt in your mouth rice flour shortbread with Fiandino Salted Butter

Thanks again to Fiandino!! my mouth is so happy!

I adore using good butter, some of my favorite things are:

a soft roll with butter and an oil packed anchovy on top, with a thin slice of lemon

Fettuccini Alfredo- which is simply butter and cheese!


  1. I Love shortbread! :P

  2. I love shortbread and I love any kind of chocolate and orange combo- so this sounds awesome! Also a really interesting idea using rice flour!

  3. Super blog! May I ask what is the ratio of the rice flour, sugar and butter? And how long do u bake it for?

  4. i don't remember now-- it was a long time ago-- i only used rice flour-- powdered sugar and salted butter with orange zest and chocolate nibs-- it was very delicate. you don't let it brown in the oven. it cut better the day after- but here is another recipe which people find successful-- Melt-in-your-Mouth Shortbread

    1/2 cup cornstarch
    1/2 cup icing confectioners' sugar
    1 cup rice flour
    3/4 cup butter

    Sift cornstarch, sugar and rice flour together.
    Add butter.
    Mix with hands until soft dough forms. Refrigerate one hour.
    Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
    Place about 1-1/4 inches apart on greased cookie sheet; flatten with lightly floured fork. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

    Form balls as above. Roll in finely crushed corn flakes or crushed nuts. Press top of ball with thumb. Add a dab of jelly.

    Mix in 2 tablespoons finely chopped peel and/or 2 tablespoons finely chopped nuts. Flatten with lightly floured fork.

    1. Thanks for the quick reply Judy.