I’ve gotten it at last: a shortbread recipe that is light, crumbly, buttery, flavorful, and not something that is best purchased in a red tartan Walker’s box. Shortbread has been something of a culinary nemesis for me for a while. I would play with my own recipes for it in the kitchen, and they were always off. One was too floury, one too much butter. One time, I cleverly pressed my lovely dough into my tart pan dreaming of a buttery round cut into wedges. Well, I should have known that my pan was 11″, not 9. The result was more like a toffee candy than a crumbly cookie. Meh.
Tonight, though, I decided to try again. I had some brown sugar that just needed to be gone, and some cornstarch as well. I’ve got to get those cabinets vacated. Plus, I had quite wanted cinnamon brown sugar shortbread the last time I had a kitchen disaster. I checked my notes from all my shortbread disasters, and began tweaking the last recipe. Tonight, I can say with confidence, “We have success!” And, this shortbread can easily accommodate veganizing by substituting Earth Balance for the butter.
Please, make these cookies. They are lovely served with a nice English tea. You could make two batches for entertaining, or one for delightful snacking. I have a feeling these aren’t going to last very long at all.
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Shortbread
- 1 /4 C brown sugar
- 1/4 C white sugar
- 1/2 C butter (one stick) cut into pieces
- 1 C flour
- 1/4 C cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to mix until the dough is well combined, and shaped like small peas. At this point, I like to get my hands into the dough and blend it, pressing it into a ball. When the dough is in a cohesive ball, freeze the dough for 15 minutes. Grease an 8×8 baking pan. Press the dough into the pan. Try to get it as even as possible. If you have a mini rolling pin, that will help you immensely. Pop the dough back in the freezer for another five minutes, since the pressing will soften the butter again. Preheat your oven to 350º. Before baking, dock the dough all over with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake the dough for 25-35 minutes. The dough should not puff up, spread out, have butter pooling on the top, or brown. Remove from the oven when done and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Let cool on a wire rack for 15-2o minutes before cutting.
Makes 16 shortbread fingers.