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This is the kind of cookie that makes me smack my head, gently, and wonder why I never made any before. Shortbread is so classic, such a stand-by, and I have a confession: I wrote it off as boring. I mean, three ingredients? That’s so simple. And here, simple is the key, the answer, the secret, because these cookies are great.

There are so many shortbread recipes available that it’s hard to know which is the right one to make. I used this recipe from Martha Stewart for ratios, and was further inspired by a sale on Irish butter at my grocery store. Of course, any butter will work, but using Irish butter makes the shortbread extra-special. I am not going to go all butter sommelier (wouldn’t that be a fun job?) on you, but it really does taste better: creamier, richer and more flavorful, and in a cookie with three ingredients, the quality really comes through. I can only imagine how great shortbread made with homemade butter would be; I hope to be able to tell you someday.

I purposefully left the recipe plain because I made them for a specific purpose, a dessert I hope to share later this weekend. We were lucky to have a few leftover to dunk in coffee this morning, yum, and I have *so* many ideas for how to use them in the future, both with add-in ingredients and as a component of other desserts. This may be the Year of Shortbread, and I can’t think of anything wrong with that.

Irish Butter Shortbread

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. With a mixer, beat the butter until it is soft but not fluffy, just a minute or two. Sift in the flour and confectioner’s sugar and mix until combined; the mixture will be very crumbly, almost sand-like, and that’s good. Press the dough evenly into a 9″ pie or cake pan with straight sides; bake for 35 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then cut into 12-16 wedges.

This is completely unrelated to the cookies, but take a minute to watch this commercial for Kerrygold; I cried like a baby.

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