Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brown Sugar Shortbread.

Let's just get this out of the way.

This recipe calls for a pound of butter. There. I said it.
Last Christmas I attempted to make elfin shortbread... basically butter, flour, sugar, and Christmas sprinkles pressed together into tiny little shortbread bites. Festive! What could go wrong? 

Um... everything? 
I made the dough, turned it onto the counter, patted it into a square, and went to cut it into tiny bite-size cookie squares... and the entire thing turned into crumbletown. Seriously, I could not get the dough to be dough long enough to cut it into respectable pieces. 
I pretty much swore off shortbread right then and there. Among other things.

This is what determination looks like.
My dad and I made brown sugar shortbread over the weekend. And by "my dad and I" I mean, my dad worked his shortbread magic while I hovered over his shoulder and snuck cookie dough watched (with a camera, obvs) (... did I really just say obvs? Let's pretend that didn't happen.). 
Don't get me wrong. I did things. Big important things. 

I measured out the brown sugar and poked at things with a fork. 
My dad said to "poke them evenly."

I sort of just jabbed at everything in sight. 
Let me tell you a few things about Scottish shortbread.

1. It's made of butter, brown sugar, and flour. That's it. Simple. No excuses. 
2. It tastes like butter, brown sugar, and flour. I think I ate six cookies piping hot off the baking sheet and tried to move the others around so my dad wouldn't notice. It didn't work, but it was so worth it, third degree burns and all.

P.S. Don't do that.
Thick, soft, and buttery. All good things happening here.  

3. Make them.

4. No, seriously.

5. Oh and dip them in chocolate too. You know. If you're the kind of person who lets cookies cool long enough to do that sort of thing. 
Brown Sugar Shortbread

Printable Recipe

1 pound butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4- 3/4 cup extra flour for kneading dough

Preheat oven to 325°F. 

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add 3 3/4 cups flour; mix well. 
Sprinkle counter with some of the extra flour and knead dough for five minutes, adding enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, non-sticky dough. 

Roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch-by-1 inch strips. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with fork. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Source: Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars, Fall 2007.

P.S. Is it just me or does this cookie look like California?