Crisp, buttery, and the perfect amount of sweetness, classic Shortbread is a must-have in everyone’s repetoire, and it couldn’t be easier to make than this.
Shortbread is one of my all-time favorite cookies, and though I have a Christmass-ey take on it here on my blog, I realized that I haven’t shown you how to make classic shortbread. It’s really quite simple to make, and only requires a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry: Butter, sugar, flour, and salt. I like to add a tiny bit of vanilla just for added oomph. And because the ingredient list is so short, this is one place where you don’t want to skimp on quality. Pick the best you can get, and you’ll really taste a difference.
You can shape them in differently. Today I went with a more free-form shape, I really like the charm of it. Especially since I used them broken up anyway for an upcoming recipe that I’m super excited about!
Until then, enjoy the simple indulgence of a classic.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale in color and smooth. Add the flour and salt, and mix until just combined. The dough will look like small pebbles and should combine like playdough when pressed together. Do not over mix.
- Separate the dough into 2 equal pieces. Place both pieces of dough on the prepared baking sheet and shape each into an approximate 4x4 inch square. Using a paring knife, score the square by making 3 lines about 2 inches apart to make 4 equal sections, then one line through the center, perpendicular to the first 3, for a total of 8 rectangles. With the blunt end of a skewer, poke 3~4 holes through the length of each rectangle. Place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour to chill. This prevents the dough from flowing and getting too misshapen.
- Bake for 30~35 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. If the cookies have lost a little bit of their scoring, you can carefully re-cut along those lines. Let cool completely before breaking along the score marks and serving.
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