This recipe from an old “Canadian Living” Christmas book is in danger of falling into obscurity. After looking for it for a few years, I finally found it in a forum post from 2001. The name of the recipe is no exaggeration; if you want a simple, unadorned shortbread recipe, you will do no better than this.
The original recipe is barely sweet. You can increase the sugar a bit, but I wouldn’t add more than 25% more than the original amount. The texture is so perfect, so tender, that I’m afraid that changing the balance too much will alter the melt-in-your mouth quality of the cookies.
You can’t skip the refrigeration step, so you need to plan ahead when you want to make this. The dough has to be cold when you put it in the oven, otherwise the butter will melt before the cookies set. If you like, you can cut the sheet of dough into triangles instead of using a cookie cutter. I’ve found that to be much easier. Double the recipe – you won’t be sorry.
Simply the best Short Bread
1 cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4c. icing sugar
1 3/4c. all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy: gradually beat in cornstarch, then sugar. Beat in the flour, about 1/4 cup at a time.
On a lightly floured surface or pastry cloth, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using floured fluted 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place on waxed paperlined trays;***** each cookie 3 times with a fork. Freeze until firm ( Shortbread can be prepared to this point, transferred to freezer bags and stored in the freezer for up to a month.)
Place frozen rounds on baking sheet; bake in 275 deg. oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until firm to the touch. remove from baking sheet and let cool on racks. (Shortbread can be stored in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks). makes 24 cookies.
Date: December 28, 2011