February 9, 2010

Shortbread pan cookies (Denise Drower Swidey, 2/09/10, Boston Globe)

Butter (for the pan, if necessary)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
Extra sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 300 degrees. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Have on hand a 9-inch nonstick cake pan (it does not need to be buttered) or a regular 9-inch layer cake pan (butter lightly).

2. In a mixer with the paddle attachment or the beaters, cream the butter, salt, and sugar at a medium speed for 30 seconds or until well combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed for 1 minute or until blended. Don’t overmix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. The dough will look like large, moist crumbs.

3. Press the dough into the cake pan. With a fork, pierce the dough in a decorative pattern. For traditional shortbread, bake for 1 hour or until the surface is barely colored and set. For a crisp texture, bake for 1 1/4 hours or until the surface is pale golden brown and set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Immediately sprinkle with extra sugar (1 tablespoon).

4. Cool the shortbread in the pan for 20 minutes. Invert the round onto a cutting board and then set right-side up. If necessary, loosen the round from the pan by running an offset spatula around the edge.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2010 6:24 PM
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