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.

Shortbread

shortbreadFlour, salt, butter, and powdered sugar are all you need to create this classic shortbread. Even if you’re not a baker, I bet you can make this.

The possibilities for shortbread are endless; there are plenty of flavorings you could add, and you could dip it in chocolate or drizzle it with some kind of glaze. But believe me when I tell you, this cookie needs no such frills; it is a delicious, simple, salty-sweet treat that would go very well with tea or coffee.

Martha Stewart bakes hers in a tart pan, but I took my dough and made a circle on parchment, then cut it with a pizza cutter into 16 even wedges. You could probably roll this out – though it might stick to your rolling pin – and cut it into shapes, but just once, try making it in the classic wedges. You won’t be sorry, I promise.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher (or other coarse) salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

Position oven rack in the upper third and preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt together; set aside.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add powdered sugar about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl between additions.

Add flour mixture all at once and beat until just combined.

Shape dough into a ball, then flatten into an 8-inch disc. Prick all over with a fork, then cut into 16 even wedges (a pizza cutter works very well).

Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the edges are just golden brown. You may have to increase baking time depending on your oven.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet; gently break wedges apart and store in an airtight container.