Shortbread is easy to make with cheap ingredients, and most importantly, it goes great with hot drinks. As the appearance of snow grows ever-closer, the need for good snacks to go with tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate grows as well. For under ten dollars, a small bag of flour and another of sugar, and a few sticks of butter you can make a couple dozen of these sweet snacks.
First, preheat your oven to 300° F, and lightly butter a pan. A glass pie pan is best for this, but nonstick or dark metal will work too.
Then, whisk together one cup of flour, one-quarter cup of sugar and one-quarter teaspoon salt. Make sure there are no chunks, and that everything is well mixed together in the bowl. Next, cut chunks of chilled butter into one-half inch cubes. The butter should be unsalted, and unfrozen. Dump the chunks into your bowl, and then mash together with your hands. Do this step quickly, as to not heat the butter up too much in the process. Try to mash the mixture together as best as possible.
Once the mixture is well-mixed, and no large chunks of butter remain (small chunks will remain), put it into your pan. Press the mixture to the edges of the pan and make the dough is even across the entirety of the pan. If you’re feeling particularly artsy, you can imprint designs with the tines of a fork, or the decorative edge of a piece of silverware. If not, simply make sure the top is even, and put the dough into the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and no longer squishy. The time might vary with your oven, so if it remains undercooked, put it into the oven for two minutes at a time until the dough cooks thoroughly.
Once you pull the pan out and the pan is cool enough to touch, cut the cookie into eighths, and serve. The cookie should be sweet and still a bit soft. Feel free to try putting powdered sugar or sprinkles on top, or chocolate chips throughout as you get more experienced in making it. The recipe is simple, and leaves a lot of room for experimentation with respect to mix-ins and toppings.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
Preheat oven to 300° F
Whisk together flour, sugar and salt
Mix in butter to mixture with hands, making sure the end result has no large chunks of butter
Press dough into pan
Optional: Put design on top
Put in oven for 45 minutes, or until golden
Cool shortbread, and cut into 8 equal slices, and serve
Yield: 8 triangular slices, 3/4 inch thick