Sunday, April 12, 2009


Shortbread pan
I love shortbread. I even have shortbread pans. Shortbread is amazingly easy to make and homemade shortbread is 1000 times better than store bought. The recipe I use makes not one but two pans of cookies. Double yum! I prefer the traditional plain shortbread. I have made all kinds of variations but always return to the traditional.
Shortbread originated in Scotland and was made with oats. It is traditionally a Christmas cookie, but I make and eat it all year round. The shortbread I make is crisp and light. Sometimes I use it as a pie crust or the basis for a bar cookie.
It is critical that you use a high quality butter and vanilla. When you have a cookie recipe that only has 6 ingredients, the quality of each ingredient makes a difference. When I make my own vanilla I use it in this recipe. I also try to use a high quality flour like Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur.

Shortbread Recipe
1 Cup (227g) of Unsalted Butter,  Softened
1 Tsp of Salt
1/4 Cup (28g) of Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup (100g) of Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp (or more) of Vanilla
2 1/3 Cups (280g) of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Preheat the oven to 300 F/149C/ Gas Mark 2. Lightly grease 2 shortbread pans or two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans.
Creaming the butter and sugars together
In a medium size bowl. Beat together the butter, sugar, salt, sugars and vanilla (I usually just pour a small pour of vanilla). Once they are mixed, slowly add in the flour. The dough will be stiff.
Divide the dough in half and spread into the pans. Smooth the surface with your hands or the bottom of a glass. Prick the dough with a fork.
The shortbread is ready for the oven
Bake the shortbread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it is golden brown around the edges. Remove the pans from the oven and run a knife around the edges. Let it cool 5 minutes and then turn the shortbread onto a clean working surface. Do not wait, but immediately cut the shortbread into 12 pieces. If you wait until it cools, it will crumble.

Finished shortbread - round pan
Finished shortbread- shortbread pan

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