Shortbread II

shortbread-iiThis is probably the best shortbread recipe I’ve ever found. Again, I say that the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion is changing my life, as this recipe comes from the first page of its shortbread chapter.

Some of the best treats are made of simple ingredients, and this is no exception. A delicious concoction of butter, salt, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour, this recipe is incredibly easy to make and serves several people, which explains why I’ve baked so many rounds of it for Christmas so far.

You could certainly drizzle this with chocolate, but I strongly recommend trying a few wedges plain just so you get the full effect of its buttery deliciousness. While the original recipe calls for slicing each round into 12 wedges, I slice mine into 16 wedges for smaller servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces (about 2 1/3 cups) flour

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Add flour and beat to combine completely. The dough will be ready when it pulls away from the sides of your mixing bowl.

Divide dough in half and press into the bottom of each cake pan, using the palm of your hand to create an even surface.

Bake for 32-35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and gently loosen the sides, then allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Gently flip onto a cutting board and slice into 16 wedges, then place wedges on a wire rack to cool completely.

Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Note: shortbread must be cut while it’s still warm; once it cools, if you try to cut it, it will break.

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