Tartine’s Shortbread

I had been wanting to make shortbread for a while. The ingredients list is short and the recipes are relatively simple, but the flavor is so yummy. Previously, most of my experience with shortbread cookies has been with store-bought ones that aren’t very fresh. Still good, but homemade was super delicate and rich. An ingredient I was not expecting to use is cornstarch, and quite a bit of it. So, be prepared for that. Apparently the cornstarch is what makes the texture so fluffy and crumbly. Traditionally, you just use sugar, butter, and flour, but I would still say you should try this recipe because it was really good. Next time I might try to mix in some other flavors, like vanilla extract or something else. The flavor of the shortbread is subtle, so if you eat it with other desserts, you can pair it with similarly light flavors. We ate it with buttermilk ice cream and enjoyed both mild flavors together.

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This recipe comes from another cookbook I received for Christmas: Tartine. I saved this book for the plane ride home. We visited the Tartine bakery when we visited San Francisco last summer and loved almost everything we had. It was neat being able to see the dishes we ate written in such a way that I could make them at home. Some of the recipes are tricky and involve fancy ingredients, as you would expect from a French bakery, but some are classically simple. Lots of the tarts/pies are: make the crust, fill it with pastry cream, and top with something like fruit. It allows for lots of mixing and matching. As soon as I saw this shortbread recipe, I wanted to make it because it looked so buttery. I had a little trouble with the texture because even when I followed the directions, the cookies kept crumbling apart. I think next time I will make sure to mix the dough longer to make it smoother. I was worried about overmixing, but I think I might have done the opposite. It did not really matter since we were more than happy to eat the crumbly pieces.

Note: For the superfine sugar, you can do what I did: take regular granulated sugar and grind it in the food processor for a minute or two until it is a little finer than it started.

Directions for Tartine’s Shortbread

Slightly adapted from Tartine

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, ultra-softened (spreadable like mayonnaise) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 9 ounces flour (1.75 cups)
  • 75 g (1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons) cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar (or granulated)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a glass 9-inch pie dish (or a 6 x 10 glass dish). Sift the cornstarch and flour together. In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and salt with a wooden spoon until the salt is dissolved into the butter.

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Add the granulated sugar and mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough is smooth.

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Pat the dough into the baking dish.

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Bake it until the top and bottom are slightly browned, about 30 minutes.

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Let it cool on a rack until just barely warm.

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Take the superfine sugar and sprinkle it on top.

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Stand over a sink and tilt the dish to coat the top in the sugar, and dump the excess.

Sparkly!

Sparkly!

Slice the shortbread however you would like.

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Allow the cookies to chill fully before removing them from the dish.

Directions for Tartine’s Shortbread (without pictures)

Slightly adapted from Tartine

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, ultra-softened (spreadable like mayonnaise)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 9 ounces flour (1.75 cups)
  • 75 g (1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons) cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar (or granulated)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a glass 9-inch pie dish (or a 6 x 10 glass dish). Sift the cornstarch and flour together. In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and salt with a wooden spoon until the salt is dissolved into the butter. Add the granulated sugar and mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough is smooth. Pat the dough into the baking dish. Bake it until the top and bottom are slightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let it cool on a rack until just barely warm. Take the superfine sugar and sprinkle it on top. Stand over a sink and tilt the dish to coat the top in the sugar, and dump the excess. Slice the shortbread however you would like. Allow the cookies to chill fully before removing them from the dish.

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7 thoughts on “Tartine’s Shortbread

  1. I’m not a big sweet eater or cookie lover but have always loves shortbread. Quick and easy to make and delicious down to the last crumb! Yum!

  2. Pingback: Berry Clafoutis (Baked Custard) | fudgingahead

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