Buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread is the standard by which all others should be measured and this version surely fills the bill! Dense and rich, this shortbread makes great gifts – if it doesn’t disappear too quickly!
by volume by weight
2 cups butter 453 grams butter
3/4 teaspoon salt 3 grams kosher salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar 63 grams powdered sugar
1/2 cup sugar 99 grams sugar
4 cups pastry flour 432 grams pastry flour
Heat the oven to 350F. Mix the butter with the sugars and the salt until smooth and incorporated.
Add the flour and mix just until completely combined.
At this point the dough can be refrigerated or frozen if desired. Form the dough into a square or rectangular package to make it easy to store in your freezer. This also makes it simpler to press the dough into the pan when you are ready to bake the cookies.
The dough needs to be at room temperature to press into a half sheet pan. Press and make the top as smooth as possible.
Bake until a light golden color, approximately 20 minutes.
Let the shortbread cool for 15 minutes.
It is important for shortbread to be cut while it is still warm in order to have clean edges and prevent crumbling.
Use a small, sharp knife to cut the shortbread into the desired shape and size.
This recipe calls specifically for pastry flour which gives shortbread an exceptionally tender crumb. If you don’t have pastry flour you can substitute cake flour. It will still have that tender texture but the inside of the cookies will be more stark because cake flour is bleached. All purpose flour will also make fine cookies that will have a slightly less melt in your mouth texture. They will still be delicious!
Shortbread can also be baked in a variety of shapes. In addition to the pan style shown here, the cookies can be baked in large rounds and cut into wedges or baked in smaller rounds and left whole. Stacked and tied with a ribbon, shortbread makes an elegant, homemade gift.