It’s hard to resist a good shortbread. It shouldn’t be too crumbly or too crisp, and it must have a rich butter flavor. This recipe makes just a small batch of shortbread that is pretty close to that good, middle-of-the-road shortbread that is well balanced, flavorful and should appeal to absolutely everyone.
This shortbread uses melted butter, which I browned on the stovetop to give it a toasty, nutty flavor that adds a lot of richness to the finished cookies. To be honest, skipping the browning step doesn’t hurt the shortbread too much, but it doesn’t take much time and the results are well worth it. The recipe was inspired by some Dutch shortbread I had, which a Dutch friend made and shared with me. After a little bit of research, I was able to find some recipes similar to the shortbread she made online and used those as a starting point for my version. The browned butter was an element that I couldn’t resist adding to enrich the overall flavor.
This shortbread is baked in a pie or tart pan and is cut into wedges to serve. It is good right away, but will also keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days.
Browned Butter Shortbread
10 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add in egg, vanilla and the cooled, melted butter and mix until dough comes together.
Turn dough out into prepared pan and press into an even layer with a spatula.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden. Cool shortbread in the pan on a wire rack. Slice when completely cool.
Makes 12 wedges.