A find from Serious Eats is bound to be a good one. These shortbread sandwiches are the perfect backdrop for any filling your heart desires. We’ve tried them with Nutella (with crushed hazelnuts on top), dark chocolate ganache (topped with some toasted almonds and sea salt), and raspberry jam. They also do well just plain–this shortbread is not too sweet, perfectly buttery, and surprisingly easy to make. This recipe is perfect for experimentation with flavor combinations and allows for much versatility. Get tins of these ready for your friends and family this holiday season.
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 sticks Unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Filling of your choice (Nutella, ganache, jam)
- Preheat your oven at 350°F with the oven rack in the middle position. Butter an 8-inch pan.
- Whisk flour and salt together in a bowl.
- Process the butter in a food processor (or stand mixer, or even by hand–trust us, it’s possible) until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and pulse for one minute. (Note: If you don’t have access to a food processor or stand mixer, start by mixing the butter and sugar together with a fork until the sugar crystals are no longer visible. Then use a wooden spoon to combine until the two are creamed together. It takes a while, but don’t lose hope!)
- Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. (Don’t knead or combine too much at this point.)
- Divide the dough into two equal portions. Press and smooth the bottom half into your buttered pan. Spread the filling onto the dough, leaving some space around the edges. Then roll the second half of the dough out to fit the shape of your pan (on a floured surface) and place on top of the filling. Press the edges down. (Note: We’ve had some difficulty doing this–it sounds easier than it is. We’ve found an effective way to do this is to divide the dough in half and make half-rectangles to place on top of the filling. Alternatively, you can chill the dough so that it is easier to work with and roll out, but we’ve usually been too excited/impatient to do that. Also, gaps in the top layer of dough are nothing to worry about–just say you were going for a more rustic look [Ina Garten does it all the time]. Okay, this note was too long.)
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden.
- Cool the cookies in the pan for 15 minutes. (The official directions say to cool them completely on a cooling rack, but we’ve usually just cut them into squares right there and then. You’ll be fine.)
The original recipe can be found here.
Photo Credit: Carrie Vasios, Serious Eats