When it comes to shortbread, I’m a purest. I don’t really pander to things IN shortbread other than butter, sugar, flour and salt. I don’t even like it dipped in chocolate! I’m weird, I know. But there’s just something reverent in those 4 ingredients that come together into a perfect, crisp, buttery biscuit that I would choose over a chocolate chip cookie every time. Something that shouldn’t really be messed with.
The standard by which I hold all shortbread to is Walker’s Shortbread, made in Scotland. This is where the recipe originated, and no one does it quite like them. For the past two years, I’ve been chasing that white rabbit, trying to replicate their recipe. I’m not there yet. I posted a pretty good try just after Big Summer Potluck, along with two other cookies that I took with me to that event.
Since then, I’ve done a lot of trial and error. I’ve looked at hundreds of shortbread recipes. I think I’m closer to Walker’s than ever before. So now I’m giving it to you. I want to know what you think of this recipe. I want to know what your sweetheart thinks of this recipe. Baked in a heart-shaped shortbread mold, it’s a perfect homemade gift for Valentine’s Day.
Really Perfect Shortbread
Enough to fill one shortbread mold
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. powdered (icing) sugar
1/4 tsp. fine grain (table) salt
3/4 c. butter (1 1/2 sticks)
Using a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Replace the lid and pulse quickly once or twice just to thoroughly combine the dry ingredients. Chop butter into large chunks and distribute evenly around the food processor bowl. Replace the lid and run on level 1 for 30-90 seconds, until the dough resembles fine crumb.
Place in the refrigerator to cool for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325F. Spray shortbread mold with cooking spray for baking (contains flour) or rub lightly with an oiled paper towel and then sprinkle with flour.
Dump the chilled dough into the shortbread mold and begin pressing with your hand to flatten evenly across the pan. Press firmly so that it is packed tight. When the dough is as evenly spread as you can get it, you must aerate the dough. Using a small tine fork sprayed with cooking spray, prick the entire surface of the dough.
Place in the oven and allow to bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes, and then loosen all around the edges using a butter knife so that it will slide out easily. Flip the pan over onto a wooden cutting board. Cut the shortbread into pieces while it is still warm. It will break and crumble if you wait until the shortbread is fully cool.