Using an electric mixer, beat until light and well blended:
Sift over the butter mixture:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Gradually stir the flour into the butter mixture, then lightly knead until well blended and smooth. If the dough is too dry to hold together, sprinkle a few drops of of water over it, adding only enough to hold particles together and being careful not to overmoisten it. Firmly press the dough into the pan or mold, forming a compact, even layer. If baking in a pan, pierce the dough deeply with a fork all over in a decorative pattern.
Bake on middle oven rack for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the shortbread is faintly tinged with pale gold and just slightly brown at the edges. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool until barely warm. Cut almost through the dough, forming bars. If desired, sprinkle the top with:
- 1 to 2 tsp sugar
Let stand until thoroughly cool. Gently retrace the cuts and separate into bars.
From The Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies
Gray: These were so easy to make and they were fantastic. We checked them at 40 minutes and then left them for 5 more. I found that I liked the edges better than the middle, so I think I would let them cook a couple minutes longer (at least in our oven). Other than that, I think this is wonderful and I will definitely make these again.
Katie: Wow, I have no idea why I have never made my own shortbread cookies before! As Gray said, they weren’t hard to make and resulted in delicious cookies. I agree that they would have been better if cooked slightly longer. I had fun piercing the shortbread with a fork before baking, and made different patterns. However, when you cut them into bars, you couldn’t see any pattern, so I don’t think it matters how you pierce them. I am excited to make these again, and anticipate that some of our family will be getting shortbread cookies for Christmas! I hope you enjoy as much as we did!