Shortbread is a cookie that showcases the flavor of pure butter. It’s characteristically quite subtle and not very sweet. But I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s humble; it’s actually quite grand. The beauty is found in its unfettered simplicity.
If you love honey, this shortbread is for you. The recipe is a very quick mix in a food processor and then off to a long slow toasting in the oven. Unlike most other shortbread, this one takes on a lot of color. The aroma is enticing and I would say it's a very nice beginning to the oncoming cookie extravaganza. Although shortbread is fairly delicate and not suited to rough transport, it will always add beautifully to your cookie platter.
- Cut the butter into 1/2” pieces and keep it chilled in the refrigerator until it's time to add it.
- After pressing the dough into the prepared pan, I use the bottom of a measuring cup to press gently into the surface and smooth out my finger impressions. Dip the cup into flour for a very light dusting if it's sticking in any way.
- If you happen to under bake the shortbread, cut into pieces and toast in the oven for an additional few minutes.
- Scoring the shortbread when it comes out of the oven and cutting into pieces with a very sharp knife while it is still warm will give you nice clean slices instead of jagged shards.
- I keep the ingredients here very simple to let the honey shine. But if you are so inclined, you could add an extra pinch of salt, a slight hint of spice or a few sliced almonds.
- If you prefer a sweeter cookie, increase the sugar to 1/4 cup.
- More delicious shortbread: Almond Toffee Shortbread, Brown Butter Walnut Shortbread and Oatmeal Shortbread.
Makes 18 pieces
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) flour
3 tablespoons (39 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz (12 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into 1/2” pieces
3 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
raw turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Lightly grease an 9 1/2” tart pan with removable bottom.
Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process to combine. Add the butter and process just until it looks like coarse meal. Add the honey and vanilla and process until the dough starts to form clumps. Place the clumps of dough in the prepared tart pan and press them flat into an even layer using your hands, making sure to press the edges down so they won't burn. Sprinkle with raw turbinado sugar. Chill until the oven is ready to go.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Bake the shortbread until a golden brown, about 45 – 50 minutes. Place on a wire rack and, using the sharp tip of a knife, score just the surface of the shortbread into portions. Cool for 10 minutes, then gently remove from the pan. Use a sharp chef’s knife to portion into pieces, wiping the blade clean after each cut. Cool completely.