Friday, December 29, 2017

Shortbread Squares

If you have been the host for the holidays this year, I am sure you are ready for some time to relax and unwind. The manner in which we do this varies from person to person. Some of the methods people have chosen may be bizarre or unbelievable. You will not find me building small houses out of pennies or washing my car. My method is actually pretty simple- enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea with a shortbread cookie while sitting in a comfortable chair. The whirlwind of stress and anxiety just melts away.

If you have not found the key to unwind yet or are just looking to take a break from your day, these cookies may be the right choice. Outside of that special buttery, melt in your mouth factor that shortbread cookies have to offer, they are easy to make with a few simple ingredients. A great return for such a little investment of time. This recipe makes about 10 dz one inch squares and uses a 9x13 inch pan.

Shortbread Squares
adapted from My Great Recipes

4 cups and 2 tbs of flour
2 cups or 1 lb of butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
Sprinkles, decorative sugar or powdered sugar for topping (optional)

Prepare a 9x13 inch cake by by buttering the interior. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Reserve a sheet of wax paper, a size just big enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cut the butter into cubes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour in the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes on medium speed, stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the blend is smooth add all of the flour.

Combine the flour with the sugar mixture by using a wooden spoon. After all the flour is incorporated into the dough, empty it into the prepared baking pan.  Take the wax paper and use it as a barrier between your hands and the dough as you press the dough down to fit the pan. Make sure the dough is even and reaches all sides and corners.

Remove wax paper. Using the tines of a fork, make small indentations on the top of the dough. This will keep the dough from bubbling up when baked.

Place pan in oven and bake until golden on sides and bottom. This should take about 1 1/2 hours. After the bake time, turn the oven off and remove the pan. Cut the shortbread into squares or triangles (depending on your preference) about 1 inch wide. Place pan back in the oven and let rest until the oven has cooled.

As a last step, sprinkle sugar topping on the surface of the shortbread. Let cool completely before removing from pan.
                                     **LAST YEAR:Chocolate Tangerine Cannoli Cupcakes**