Thursday, May 26, 2011
I really get nothing in compensation for going on and on about how often I refer to Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. Pretty much everything I've ever cooked from it has turned out wonderfully.
I like, too, the fact the cookbook has recipes for things like popcorn. It's not hard to do but I never can remember how much oil and is it 1/2 cup popcorn kernels? That book has the answer.
This shortbread is simple to make, can be made ahead, and has limitless variations. Shortbread can be dunked in coffee or dipped in semisweet chocolate. It's hard to go wrong with shortbread.
2 sticks unsalted butter; softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 and 1/2 cups flour
scant 1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp kosher salt
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until combined
Add the egg yolk and vanilla, scraping sides of bowl if neccessary, and beat until combined.
Stir in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until combined. The dough will be sticky.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
The dough can be rolled out to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutters, like sugar cookies. Or you can use a knife to cut dough into strips (like ladyfingers) or triangles. At this point, I like to slide the cookies in the refrigerator to chill for a bit longer. It helps the cookies hold their shape while baking.
Bake until the cookies are just firm, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely on wire rack.
Shortbread keeps well at room temperature. A batch makes a great gift!