Note: This is King Arthur Flour’s recipe. I changed the Preparation instructions a bit. I think it will make it even
easier for you. The pics are mine. It went very well and the shortbread is outstanding! To see the original recipe instructions, go to:http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/shortbread-recipe
SHORTBREAD BY KING ARTHUR
Shortbread is a wonderful starting point for all kinds of sweet adventures: top it (nuts, chocolate, jam); flavor it (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.
Our guarantee: This light-gold, crisp/flaky shortbread is buttery and mildly sweet. It will be about 1/4″ thick.
• 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at cool room temperature*
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional, or the flavor of your choice; eggnog flavor makes a delicious holiday shortbread
• 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• *Since butter is such a critical element in these cookies, we recommend you use a top-quality butter. Our test-kitchen choice is Cabot. (I used Walmart’s Great Value brand and they were phenomenal.)
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease two round 9″ cake pans, OR one 13” x 9” OR your own molds. If you worry about the shortbread possibly sticking in your particular pans, line them with parchment, and grease the parchment.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whip the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar, in ¼ cup batches, beating well after each addition. Next add vanilla, and almond extract, then beat in the flour in ¼ cup batches, beating after each addition. There is no need to hover there. Add the sugar and do something else in between. Same with the flour.
3. Press dough into prepared pans. Place the empty butter wrapper (greasy side down) on the dough and press down to smooth the surface with your fingers, or a flexible spatula. Try to get it as even as possible. It should be about ¼” thick.
4. Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows 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 30-35 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 wedges, squares or rectangles. (Do this while the shortbread is still very warm; if you wait until it’s cool, it won’t cut easily.) Transfer the shortbread 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.
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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015