Basic Shortbread

This wonderful recipe for basic shortbread can be used to make Espresso Shortbread,Chocolate-Glazed Shortbread Fingers,Lemon-Poppy Seed Glazed Balls, Black-and-White Triangles, and Candied Ginger Shortbread Wedges -- all recipes come from Martha Stewart Holiday: Season's Eatings.

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 wedges
Basic Shortbread

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, December Fall 2008

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' or granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-inch round cake or springform pan. Sift together flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, cream butter until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar, and continue to beat until very light in color and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes more. Add flour mixture, and beat on low, scraping bowl if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.

  2. Pat dough into prepared pan. Use a paring knife to score dough into wedges; prick all over in even intervals with a wooden skewer or fork.

  3. Bake until firm in the center and just starting to color, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cut into wedges. Cookies will keep, in an airtight container, at room temperature 3 weeks.

Cook's Notes

The dough (and its variations) can be prepared and refrigerated overnight or frozen up to three months, covered tightly with plastic wrap; thaw frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before using. The baking time for each variety of shortbread will vary depending on the kind of pan and cutters used.

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