I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are some recipes that just by reading them you can tell you have a winner. This is another one of those. I’ve adapted it from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert cookbook. Her technique of letting the dough rest in the pan for at least two hours or overnight as well as double baking the shortbread – yes like biscotti, yields a marvelous treat. This is buttery, crunchy shortbread – Christmas Cookie #7 – Twice Baked Shortbread.

It’s funny how your tastes change as you get older. I was never a fan of shortbread as a child, found it too buttery and not a great mouth feel. Now, even though I’m not a cookie person (although I love to bake), just one bite of the shortbread and I’m in heaven. This recipe comes together well, yields excellent results, and tastes great. It is a recipe for your arsenal of cookies. I don’t normally say it, but with this type of cookie, the butter you use makes a big difference. Try and get the European Style butter with the higher fat content, you will taste the difference.  Another key step is the 300f oven, don’t put it any higher than that, your shortbread will take on too much color and likely to burn at the bottom – low and slow please.  

The original recipe suggests baking it in a 9.5” round spring form pan or 4″ x 14″ tart pan with a removable bottom or an 8” square pan. I used the 8” square pan and cut strips from the first baking – about 1/2” wide and then 1.5” long – cut it anyway you like. Put your own spin on it by adding different flavorings – finely diced dried cherries or currants, sliced almonds or lemon zest. But try the original first. You may just not want to change anything as it really is a delightful cookie. As always – enjoy!

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted Churn 84, melted and still warm
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt or some other good quality flaky sea salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Line an 8”x8” square pan with parchment leaving an overhang on two ends – I find if you spray/grease the tin first, it will hold the parchment in place when you add the dough
In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla and salt
Add the flour and mix just until incorporated
Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan, leveling as necessary
Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight (no need to refrigerate)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes – this is important as it sets up the shortbread for cutting
Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on
Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar
Let the shortbread cool for 5 minutes
Remove the shortbread from the pan carefully – lift up one edge of the parchment, almost to the other edge then lift the other end off and place it on a cutting board
Use a thin sharp knife to cut it into strips then diamond shapes or oblong, wedges, or squares
Place the pieces slightly apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put back in the oven for 15 minutes
Cool on a rack – before enjoying
This will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of weeks or freeze – if they last that long 🙂