I love having a basic shortbread cookie around for serving friends who drop in –or just for nibbling on with my afternoon tea. This classic shortbread recipe can be adapted to make four (or more!) different kinds of cookies, and is perfect for the busy mom who still prefers a homemade cookie. Don’t we all?
3/4 pound (1 1/2 cups or 3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
Dump dough onto a surface dusted with flour and bring everything together with your hands. Divide dough into four pieces and flatten slightly into discs. Shortbread dough is now ready to prepare one of the recipe variations described on Simple Bites, or you can proceed with this recipe.
Press one quarter of the cookie dough into a 7×7 square pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Pat down firmly. Chill for 30 minutes. Wrap the remaining three discs of cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another day.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake shortbread for about 16-20 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove pan from oven and allow shortbread to cool slightly.
Remove shortbread from pan by lifting the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the shortbread into diamonds while it is still warm. Let cookies cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Makes about 4 dozen small shortbread
Thanks to YMC Foodie of the Week, Aimee Wimbush-Bourque, for sharing this sweet treat.