Sunday, December 23, 2007
I made these wonderful shortbread a week ago and forgot to post it!! I think I am running out of steam. But everything is under control. I have been using this recipe for quite a few years now. It is buttery and not cloyingly sweet, and that is how I like my shortbread.
I am posting the basic recipe here and the variations are endless really. The angel shaped ones are pine nut and rosemary shortbread. I love how the fragrance of rosemary fills the house when it is baking in the oven. The plain ones are anything but. Don't like rosemary in your treats? What about candied ginger or espresso and hazelnut? Delish... Word of caution here. The dough is very soft and needs to be refrigerated. It does take some time to make these. I also prefer to refrigerate the cut shortbread on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before I bake it in the oven. I find that they hold their shape better when baked.
8 oz unsalted butter- room temperature
2 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup confectionery sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
* no need for salt if you are using salted butter*
I use always use a mixer to mix my dough. Good old elbow grease works well here too. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract in high speed till mixture is pale and creamy. Scrape down the bowl and cream the mixture again.
Add sifted flour slowly to the creamed butter mixture. Mix until the flour is just incorporated. Wrap dough in parchment paper or cling wrap and refrigerate till firm. I usually form the dough into disks before chilling it. It makes rolling out the dough much easier.
Once you are ready to bake the shortbread, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper and set aside.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface around 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Chill baking sheet with the cut out shortbread for 7-10 minutes. Bake till slightly brown around the edges - this really depends on your oven. - 15 to 25 minutes. You can figure it out with the first tray of shortbread. Mine took 20 minutes.
Cool on a rack and embellish it as you wish.