I need another cookie. You?
Preferably one made with only three (or four) ingredients, whose assembly requires nothing more than a wooden spoon and a bowl,
a press-in-the-pan cookie,
that you score before baking,
a cookie that tastes like brown butter, salty and sweet, so much more than the sum of its parts, a shortbread loved as much by the big kids as the littles.
PS: More cookies.
PPS: If you’re into podcasts, I recently chatted with Gabriel Soh over on The Dinner Special. It was fun.
Brown Sugar Shortbread
Yield 24 servings
This recipe comes from Food52 Baking or, more specifically, from Merrill Stubbs who adapted it from her grandmother and describes it as "the easiest, most foolproof recipe in the world." Two words: Make it.
A few more: The original recipe calls for salted butter, which I never have on hand, so I've been making it (three batches so far) with unsalted butter and the addition of ½ teaspoon fleur de sel, but you may want to start with ¼ teaspoon. If you use kosher salt, use ¼ teaspoon to start.
- ½ cup (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon sea salt such as fleur de sel *See notes above
- ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar
- 1⅓ cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- With a wooden spoon (or electric mixer) cream the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy and pale. Add the flour, and stir just until incorporated.
- Transfer the dough to an 8-inch square pan, and press into an even layer with your fingers — this will feel like a very thin layer. Prick the dough evenly across the surface with a fork. Score the dough into 6 rows and 4 columns using a knife or bench scraper.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until the dough is a very light golden brown and the surface looks dry; watch carefully so it doesn't get too dark — the shortbread will get darker as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and immediately cut in using the scored lines as guides. Let cool in the pan before separating the pieces. The shortbread will keep in an airtight container for several days. Wishful thinking.
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