simple shortbread

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Every now and then I want something simple. Like I want to wear jeans and a fitted t-shirt to feel put together but casual. I want to use simple colors like black and white (maybe grey because it’s one of my favorites) because they are great accents and can even stand alone.  My lunch was simple today.  I had a salad with chicken and a couple other toppings for lunch but no dressing and it was good. I was able to taste the peppery arugula and bitter radicchio. When food is simple you are able to appreciate the ingredients so much more.

Today you will not find a chocolate coating or sugar sprinkled on top just a good simple shortbread cookie.

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To start you must have room temperature butter.  Room temperature butter…I love you but I hate you.  You make my cookies rise perfectly but you take hours to soften.

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The original recipe called for 3 sticks of butter but the dough was very crumbly and would not come together.  I had to add another ½ stick of room temperature butter to get the dough to come together.

dough with 3 sticks of butter

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dough with an addition 1/2 stick of butter

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I tried to be a cute and use a fluted pastry wheel. It was cute but the dough was a little thick.  In the future I would use a cookie cutter or knife. I only rolled out half the dough shown above and froze the the remaining dough for another time.  The problem in my house is that my husband doesn’t share my interest in sweets…which probably isn’t a problem at all.  My point is I didn’t want to eat all of these cookies and half a batch is more than enough for me and to give away to friends.

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This is not the type of cookie to set in the oven and wait for the timer to go off and check them.  You need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook. I suggest taking them out of the oven while they are still pale because they continue to bake while cooling and will brown a couple shades darker once they come out.

Unadorned they are beautiful.

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*dunk me in milk*

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Simple Shortbread Cookies

slightly adapted recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients

3.5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

I recommend using a stand mixer for this recipe.  With paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until combined. Add the vanilla. Sift together flour and salt and add to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.  Pour out the dough on a well-floured surface and shape into a flat disk.  Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for 30 min to chill.

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to ½ inch thick.  Cut into 3x1inch pieces.  I suggest using a knife or cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20min, until edges are barely brown.  Place cookies on a baking rack to cool to room temperature.

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4 thoughts on “simple shortbread

  1. Those look soooooooooo yummy! Question: how long do they stay good once cooked? Like if I want to just have some around for coffee dates or to have with tea?
    Love the blog Kim!

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks! I gave most of them away afterwards but my friends said that they were really good which was 4 days after I had baked them. As long as you keep them in an air tight container I’m thinking they will last a week. Let me know how it works out for you.

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