Shortbread, 10 Ways
Shortbread is not only one of the easiest desserts you can possibly make, it’s also one of the most adaptable. As long as you keep the butter-to-flour ratio constant (1 stick butter to 1 cup flour), everything else is negotiable. You can reduce or increase the sugar and salt, or mix in any type of flavoring from citrus zest to vanilla to herbs and spices. You can even alter the type of flour, swapping in some rice flour for all-purpose flour for increased crunch, or cornmeal for a nubby texture. Just be cautious about adding liquid to the dough; any more than one tablespoon could interfere with the texture. Here we give a master recipe and nine variations to play around with.
- Serves: 24 persons
- 2cups/250 grams all-purpose flour
- ⅔cup/150 grams granulated sugar
- ¾teaspoon fine salt
- 2sticks/1 cup/226 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
Step 1Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pulse together flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to fine crumbs. Pulse a few more times until some of the crumbs start to come together, but don’t overprocess; the dough should be somewhat crumbly. (You can also mix the dough in a bowl using two knives or a pastry cutter.)
Step 2Press dough into an even layer in an ungreased 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan, or a 9-inch pie pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes for the 9-inch square or pie pan, 45 to 50 minutes for the 8-inch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares, bars or wedges while still warm.