Melt-in-your-mouth shortbread is a delicious and buttery treat that is quite simple to prepare. Here’s a recipe to help you make it:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. You can use an electric mixer or do this by hand with a wooden spoon.
- Add the vanilla extract (if using) to the butter mixture and mix it in until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and salt.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. The dough will be crumbly at first, but continue mixing until it comes together into a smooth dough.
- Transfer the dough to a clean surface or pastry board and gently knead it a few times to ensure all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) using a rolling pin. You can lightly flour the surface to prevent sticking if needed.
- Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters or slice it into squares or rectangles using a sharp knife. Prick each cookie with a fork to create small holes on the surface, which will help prevent the shortbread from puffing up during baking.
- Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, leaving a little space between each cookie.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies turn a light golden brown. The shortbread should still be pale in the center.
- Once baked, remove the shortbread from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. They will be delicate when warm, so handle them with care.
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. As they cool, they will firm up and become even more melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
- Once cooled, store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be enjoyed immediately or kept for several days.
That’s it! You now have a batch of melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies ready to be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.