Shortbread

snowflake-short-bread-king-arthur-flour-relish
http://pgoarelish2.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/snowflake-short-bread-king-arthur-flour-relish.jpg?w=150
  • Yield: 12 pieces

Top shortbread (with nuts, chocolate, jam); flavor it (with lemon, hazelnut, coconut); or do both (cappuccino with a mocha ganache drizzle, anyone?). Then again, if you're a "make mine vanilla, please" kind of guy or gal, leave it alone; it can stand on its own in perfect simplicity. This light-gold, crisp/flaky shortbread is buttery and mildly sweet. It will be about 1/4-inch thick. Read our blog about shortbread, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Ingredients

1cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at cool room temperature
1cup confectioners' sugar
2teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4teaspoon almond extract, optional, or the flavor of your choice; eggnog flavor makes a delicious holiday shortbread
2cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Lightly grease two round 9-inch cake pans. If you worry about the shortbread possibly sticking in your pans, line them with parchment, and grease the parchment.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, then beat in the flour. The mixture may seem a little dry at first; keep beating till it comes together. If it absolutely won't come together, dribble in up to 1 tablespoon of water, until it does. This is a stiff dough.
  3. Divide the dough in half, and press each half into one of the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with your fingers, or with a mini rolling pin. 
  4. Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes. Prick the dough in a random pattern, but it looks nicer pricked with some kind of symmetry.
  5. Bake the shortbread until it's a light golden brown across the top surface, and a deeper golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes. 
  6. Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn each shortbread round out onto a clean work surface.
  7. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut each round into 12 wedges. (Do this while the shortbread is still warm; if you wait until it's cool, it won't cut easily.) Transfer the shortbread wedges to a rack to cool.
  8. Serve as is, or decorate. Here are a few suggestions: Drizzle with melted caramel. Spread with melted chocolate, and sprinkle with nuts. Set aside two shortbread cookies, and spread the remainder of the cookies with a thick layer of jam or preserves. Crumble the reserved cookies, and sprinkle the crumbs lightly over the jam. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 320 other followers