Shortbread Cookies. A traditional Scottish baked good that consists of flour, sugar and butter. Through the years there has been much debate as to whether shortbread is classified as a biscuit (bread) or a cookie. In fact, early Scottish bakers fought to prevent shortbread from being classified as a biscuit in order to avoid paying a government tax. The "short" part of the word refers to the shortening (butter). Traditionally, shortbread was one large round cookie with notched edges made by pinching the dough between the finger and the thumb. Today, we make them in all shapes and sizes. I like to make them "just because".
Electric mixer with paddle attachment
3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and 1 cup of 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 onto a silicone baking mat dusted with flour and roll shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. QUICK TIP: Place your stainless steel rolling rod in the refrigerator with your dough. This will make it much easier to roll out.
- Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with cookie cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased sheet pan and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.