Oh….don’t you just love Mommies? My mommy knows I love shortbread….so she made me about 3 dozen shortbread cookies. Now each day after that I spend my time thinking….when can I have another cookie? Do you think my husband is eating them right now? Maybe I should hide them…..augh! But really – these are melt in your mouth, crumbly, buttery heaven!! These are a TOTAL success…Please make them. Not kidding!!!
Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
12 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan(s)
15 oz. (3-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. table salt
5-3/8 oz. (1-1/3 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract or paste
For rectangular cookies, lightly butter the bottom of a straight-sided 9×13-inch baking pan. For wedges, lightly butter two 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms.
Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form moist clumps, about 1 minute.
Turn the dough out into the prepared pan (if making wedges, divide the dough between the two pans). Using lightly floured fingertips, press the dough into the pan(s) to form an even layer.
Use a bench knife or a paring knife to cut the dough all the way through into 40 bars. With the tines of a fork, prick each bar twice all the way through, spacing the holes evenly and on the diagonal. Lightly flour the tines as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Freeze the dough while the oven heats. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.
Bake the dough, rotating the pan(s) halfway through, until the top(s) looks dry and golden-brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan(s) to a rack. Using a paring knife or bench knife, immediately re-cut the cookies along the lines. Cool completely before removing them from the pan(s). Now, SHARE your cookies! People will decide to be your friends based on these cookies alone!!!