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Shortbread

1 cup + 2 tablespoonsunsalted butter, very soft
1/2 teaspoonsalt
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoonsall-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoonscornstarch
1/3 cupgranulated sugar
1/4 cupsuperfine or granulated sugar for topping
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Shortbread - Equipment List

Baking Dish
Mixing Bowls
Whisks
Paring Knife

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Shortbread - Instructions

Many recipes include some kind of starch that contributes, along with butter, to the
"shortness" of the dough, which is where these cookies get their melt-in-the-mouth
texture. Potato starch, cornstarch and rice flour are among the possibilities. Rice
flour gives a bit more crunch, while cornstarch is the softest of all, making a
particularly short and flaky cookie.


KITCHEN NOTES:
If the cold butter hasn't softened in time, put it into a saucepan and melt a portion
of it. Then mix the rest of the butter into the melted butter to get the very soft
consistency needed. Just make sure that you don't let too much of the butter melt.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter a 6" x 10" glass baking dish.

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Shortbread - Instructions Continued


Place the butter in a mixing bowl. The butter must be very soft-the consistency of
mayonnaise or whipped cream. Add the salt to the butter and mix well with a wooden
spoon or whisk so that it dissolves completely before you add the rest of the
ingredients. Sift the flour and cornstarch together into a bowl. Add the granulated
sugar to the butter and mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix just
until a smooth dough forms.

Pat the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. The dough should be no more than
2/3" deep. Bake until the top and bottom are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. The
middle of the shortbread should remain light. Let cool on a wire rack until warm to
the touch.

Sprinkle the shortbread with the superfine or granulated sugar. Tilt the dish so that

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Shortbread - Instructions Continued

the sugar fully and evenly coats the surface and then tip out the excess sugar. With a
very thin, sharp knife, cut the shortbread into rectangular fingers about 1/2" wide
and 2" long. If the cookies have become cold they will not slice well, so they must
still be warm to the touch at this point. Chill thoroughly before removing from the
baking dish.

The first cookie is difficult to remove, but the rest should come out easily with the
aid of a small, thin offset spatula. The cookies will keep in an airtight container in
a cool place for up to 2 weeks. Makes one 6" x 10" pan, about sixty 2" x 1/2" bars.

Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson, Tartine (Chronicle Books, 2006).

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