I know a lot of people love cake. Still more people are partial to cupcakes. They fawn over them and create achingly adorable or unusually flavored cupcake versions in mature and delectable flavors like passion fruit or dark mocha. I like a piece of cake as much as the next person, but that’s as far as it goes. My desire for cake is just average – nothing more or less. I do not have fantasies about cake that wake me up in the middle of the night to search for a slice in my fridge.
My interest in cookies, however, trends more towards the extreme side. I would not yet classify myself as a fanatic. I am more in line with a Cookie Monster in training. I like a little chocolate chip cookie in the afternoon. A crisp biscotti is perfect dunked in tea. An ice cream sandwich cookie cools on a hot summer day. And this cookie? A basic, buttery shortbread that pairs with yogurt and fruit for breakfast, or can be dressed up with ice cream, mousse or other toppings to create an elegant dessert. This is something that every cookie obsessed baker should have in their repertoire.
Inspired by The Cook Book Chronicles
1 lb. unsalted butter (4 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 c. granulated sugar
4 c. all purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick liner. If using parchment paper grease it generously with butter.
3. In a mixer, combine softened butter, salt and sugar.
4. Mix on medium speed for 5+ minutes until butter becomes paler in color and increases in volume.
5. Lower speed and add flour and cornstarch.
6. Mix until combined or the mixer resists mixing.
7. Press crumbled dough together with your hands.
8. Press dough into cookie sheet.
9. Use a fork to make small indentations across dough – this helps release steam and also makes a pretty pattern.
10. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to turn color. The shortbread should remain mostly white.
11. Let pan cool on wire rack, until room temperature. Place in fridge to continue cooling, about an hour.
12. Slice shortbread into squares or rectangles and separate.
13. Cookies will keep in a container in the refrigerator for over a week.