The Simplicities of Shortbread
Have you ever craved something irresistibly sweet and then you think about the effort that goes into making it and then laziness rears its unattractive, yet addictive face? Well I have; many, many times. So, imagine my delight when my baking buddy shows up with her wonderful book of treats! Whilst gushing and oohing and aahing, we stumbled upon a recipe for shortbreads. Good ol’ wonderful simple shortbreads. You see, shortbreads are very dear to me because they appeal to my emphatically lazy side in that I don’t need to step out of my pantry and my house to get any of its handful of ingredients.
Despite its simplicity, I do feel it’s important to be indulgent when it comes to the ingredients. Which is why I had a huge fat smile on my face when my friend whipped out the french butter that she had brought with her! YAY!!!! IT really does make a wealth of difference when you use top notch ingredients for simple things like shortbread.
So here’s the recipe that created the crumbly, buttery goodness that I unregrettably chomped down once they were out of the oven. All thanks to the Williams Sonoma Baking Book (Very good book by the way)
This recipe makes however many bars you want – Depending on how thick you’d like them of course.
- 250g room temperature unsalted butter
- 30g Icing Sugar
- 60g granulated sugar
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 235g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 150°C.
I used an 8 inch square baking pan that was greased within an inch of its aluminium life.
Firstly, sift the flour and the salt together, then set aside. Secondly, using your arm muscle or an electric/hand mixer, cream the butter, the icing sugar and granulated sugar till its quite pale. Dash in the Vanilla extract, mix it in. Then gradually fold in the flour and salt mixture until the mixture is doughy. All that’s left is to press and shape the dough into your pan (using floured hands of course); sprinkle the extra granulated sugar on top and chuck the pan into your preheated oven.
All they need is about an hour in the oven, the edges will have a golden hue (just the edges!!). Immediately you bring the pan out of the oven, cut your shortbread however you like then LET THEM COOL. Like I’ve said before, I do not have the patience for this bit so into my mouth they went!
P.S: Remember to eat them delicately.
P.P.S: Try not to shamelessly gorge on them like I did.