- 1-½ pounds (24 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon vanilla past
1 Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
2 Lightly coat a 17-¼-by-11-½-by-1-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick vegetable spray. Lay a piece of parchment paper in the pan, taking care that it fits neatly at the sides and corners. Set aside.
3 Put the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Begin beating on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or until light and creamy. With the motor running, gradually add the 1 cup sugar, beating until very light and creamy, then slowly beat in the flour. Add the vanilla. When the dough is well blended, remove the bowl from the mixer and
scrape the paddle clean.
4 Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and, using your fingertips, press the dough into a flat, even layer. Using a kitchen fork, prick the entire surface of the dough and lightly sprinkle it with sugar.
5 Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or just until slightly colored and set in the center. Lower the oven to 300ºF and continue to bake for 15 minutes, or until nicely colored.
6 Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
7 When cool, use a serrated knife to cut the shortbread into small bars. Let cool completely.
Makes one 17-¼-by-11-½-by-1-inch pan.
Note: Store, airtight, at room temperature.
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Excerpt from Milk & Cookies by Tina Casaceli, Copyright 2011. Photography Copyright 2011 Antonis Achilleos. Excerpted from Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.