Shortbread (via Bouchon Bakery)

It seems boring. Why should you make this treat with no chocolate? It also seems fussy at first glance. Again, do I have time for that with a kid around? Well, actually, it isn’t boring but deliciously buttery and vanilla-y, and it isn’t super fussy unless you want to make it that way.

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I made these as a surprise treat for my dad and they ended up on his favorites list!

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I told him I should have made more. I tasted one with the Fudgelet and we both wanted more! This was the recipe I made that made me want to have a kitchen ruler (I have one now), but you don’t need to be fussy with the measuring/etc. I left it out because honestly it was more convoluted than it needed to be. And the cookies were bigger than they needed to be, too.

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But, they were delicious, no matter the size or shape you choose.

Directions for Shortbread

Slightly adapted from Bouchon Bakery

  • 1.5 sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter, room temperature
  • 90 g granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 270 g flour

Use the paddle attachment for your stand mixer and beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.

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Add the 90 g of sugar and the salt, again mixing on medium speed. Mix until fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Scrape down the bowl halfway through and again before adding the vanilla and mixing on low speed to incorporate it.

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Add the flour in 2 batches, mixing on low speed for 15-30 seconds after each. Scrape down the bowl again.

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Dump the dough onto a floured surface and form a 5 inch square block. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you preheat the oven, just to keep the dough lightly cool. (The directions recommended a longer chill time, but that was problematic for me.)

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Preheat the dough to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment and flatten the dough  by pounding it from left to right, then rotate a quarter turn and repeat.

This is what happened with a long chill for me.

This is what happened with a long chill for me.

If you are having difficulty with the pounding, you can skip it and continue with the next step, which is to roll out the dough to a 9 inch square. At this point, if the dough is getting too soft, again, you can chill it briefly. Otherwise, continue.

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Cut out the cookies with a knife, as many as you like (about 24 was the original recipe, but they were a bit big).

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If the dough is cool to the touch, place the cookies on the baking sheet and sprinkle some granulated sugar on top.

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Leave a little space between the cookies and bake them until just barely browned (15-20 minutes). Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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Directions for Shortbread (without pictures)

Slightly adapted from Bouchon Bakery

  • 1.5 sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter, room temperature
  • 90 g granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 270 g flour

Use the paddle attachment for your stand mixer and beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the 90 g of sugar and the salt, again mixing on medium speed. Mix until fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Scrape down the bowl halfway through and again before adding the vanilla and mixing on low speed to incorporate it.

Add the flour in 2 batches, mixing on low speed for 15-30 seconds after each. Scrape down the bowl again.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and form a 5 inch square block. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you preheat the oven, just to keep the dough lightly cool. (The directions recommended a longer chill time, but that was problematic for me.)

Preheat the dough to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment and flatten the dough  by pounding it from left to right, then rotate a quarter turn and repeat. If you are having difficulty with the pounding, you can skip it and continue with the next step, which is to roll out the dough to a 9 inch square. At this point, if the dough is getting too soft, again, you can chill it briefly. Otherwise, continue.

Cut out the cookies with a knife, as many as you like (about 24 was the original recipe, but they were a bit big). If the dough is cool to the touch, place the cookies on the baking sheet and sprinkle some granulated sugar on top. Leave a little space between the cookies and bake them until just barely browned (15-20 minutes). Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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