This simple yet intensely rich shortbread is fantastic on its own, but it practically begs to be served with nearly any sweet sidekick (ice cream, lemon curd, caramel sauce) or dipped in melted chocolate. Even better, you can try a different topping every day, since the shortbread keeps for up to two weeks. All you’ll need to make it are flour, salt, butter, and confectioner’s sugar; because those four ingredients play a starring role, quality is key. Try baking with high-grade butter, for instance, and note the difference. It’s a lesson in how the quality of the ingredients you choose can impact your results.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
11/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 300℉. Butter a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom
- Sift flour and salt into a bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture all at once; mix until just combined
- Using plastic wrap, press dough into prepared pan. With plastic on the dough, refrigerate 20 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Cut dough into 8 wedges with a paring knife or bench scraper.
- Bake until golden brown and firm in the center, about 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Recut shortbread into wedges; let cool completely in pan. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.)