After making my Yellow Carrot Tart with the barley flour crust, I started thinking. That crust base was unique, with a bit more bite and a bit more sweetness to it than regular crust. At some point when nursing in the middle of the night (sometimes that's when the best ideas happen, the problem is holding onto them in the morning) it occurred to me that the crust modified slightly would work nicely for shortbread. After thinking of it it kept niggling me until I tried it. So I did. It also dawned on my while making them that if I can get the barley flour fine enough, barley, with less gluten than regular flour, is a great replacement as in shortbread everything is done to prevent gluten chain formation (soft butter, no kneading). Starting with something even less likely to do that has the potential for even crumblier, tenderer biscuits.
2/3 c barley flour
1/2 c butter, very soft
1/3 c dark chocolate chips
1) Place flours and butter in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add sugar and chocolate chips. Mix. Press together into a dough. Do NOT knead.
2) Turn out onto a clean surface and roll out to about 1 - 1.5 cm thick and cut into rounds of the desired thickness. Place rounds on a cookie sheet with wax paper and chill 20 minutes.
3) Bake at 190°C for 15-20 minutes until golden.
These were very tasty and the flavours came together as I had hoped. The biscuits could have been a little thicker though. Also, in terms of the texture, these didn't melt in your mouth the way regular shortbread cookies do. I need to grind the barley flour a little finer next time as it had too much bite, but otherwise, I am delighted with these!