The Damsel can’t think of a more old school dessert than shortbread. This recipe is so simple, so basic. It’s easy to picture Great-grandma making this often, and not having to refer a printed recipe, either. You’ll see why the Damsel says that.
So what is shortbread? It’s sort of a cookie, although it can be baked either in cookies or a slab that you cut up. The Damsel assumed they call it “short” because it contains no leavening–no yeast, no baking powder, no nuthin. It doesn’t raise…it stays short. But actually, it’s called that because it contains such a lot of butter (read: shortening).
Memorize this recipe: 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour. Got it? That’s it.
Cream the butter and sugar together in whatever way seemeth you best. The Damsel uses her “Not A Kitchen-Aid Mixer” on a fairly brisk speed.
Add the flour, a little at a time, beating sternly. The dough looks crumbly rather than a cohesive ball.
Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead until smoothish. It shouldn’t be sticky at all. If it is, knead additional flour in, up to a whole cup. (The Damsel ended up with about 2 1/3 cups total)
Press it into a 9×13 cake pan with your fingers. No need to spray the pan first. The dough is mostly butter, after all. (Alternately roll out on the counter, cut into shapes, and then place on a cookie sheet. Prick them with a fork if you feel like it.)
Roll it a bit with a mini rolling pin or a plain old drinking glass.
Bake a long time. 45 to 55 minutes at 300 degrees F. , until golden. Don’t look for a dramatic color change…it comes out pretty “gently golden.”
Let it cool, and cut into bars.
Have a glass of cold milk handy.
and…thanks for the photos, emeraldlens.info!
P.S. Click here for a wonderful story about shortbread by Thomas S. Monson, President of the LDS Church.