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Twice-baked Shortbread: Submitted by: Marguerite Martin | Date Added: 13 Sep 2011
Listed in: Sweets / Cookies & Brownies

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and still warm
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or the scraping from half a vanilla bean
¼ teaspoon salt or a couple pinches of flaky maldon
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Turbinado, Demerara or granulated sugar for sprinkling

Cooking Instructions

1) Equipment: A baking pan, with a removable bottom, such as a 9½" round or a 4 by 14-inch rectangular fluted tart pan, or a on-piece 8-inch square pan.

2) If using a pan with a removable bottom, grease the pan; if using the one-piece 8-inch pan, line it with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

3) In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla of your choice, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight (no need to refrigerate).

4) Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.

5) Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes.

6) Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.

7) Remove the shortbread from the pan, being careful to avoid breaking it. Use a thin sharp knife to cut it into oblong “fingers”, wedges, or squares. Place the pieces slightly apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

NOTE: Oh, this one is crazy delicious too. It is from a fantastic cookbook I bought months and months and months ago–Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich–that I have made only this single recipe from. (Hangs head in shame.) However, I didn't pick a bad place to start. The twice-baked shortbread she introduces early in the book reappears throughout it in different variations, but it’s the technique that makes it, like a biscotti treatment on the best kind of cookie. (Yes, I am unabashedly pro-shortbread.) I temporarily forgot that my oven runs cool, and did not nearly bake them long enough to get a nice golden-edged twice-baked effect, but nobody cared, especially because I scraped some vanilla bean in. This is a good one to bookmark, my friends, and I've kept it from you far too long.

Medrich says that the secrets to tender, buttery, crunchy shortbread are letting the dough rest in the pan for at least two hours, or overnight, before baking and adding a second baking, to toast the cookies ever-so-slightly for extra flavor and crunch. After trying these, I couldn't agree more and expect to audition variations on this core recipe all winter.

Shortbread can keep for weeks in a sealed container, but I've never had any last that long.

Found on

Marguerite Martin adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert

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