Tuesday, July 23, 2013

marlow & sons shortbread

lorna doon.
those round tins of cookies someone gave your mom during the holidays and their different exciting shapes deceived you into thinking they were different but they were all butter cookies, which in the end was fine-BY-ME.

in fact. the trefoil was always my favorite girl scout cookie, but for an 8 year old, with the pressures of society and 3rd grade conformism, i would never admit it.

now i am proud to say that i believe the basic shortbread cookie to be one of the most beautiful things on the planet.

it's the very basics of baking.
butter. flour. sugar. salt.
what a concept.

there is a lot of over-the-top-ness going on all over these internets. cookies stuffed into cookies stuffed into cake batter. all wrapped up into a cheesecake. on a stick.

i'm gonna barf all over the pinterest screen.

how about we just settle for some big bakery sized squares of crumbly shortbread and call this gross nonsense a phase?

Marlow and Sons Shortbread

notes: this recipe will make lots of shortbread. feel free to halve the recipe and bake in just one quarter sheet tray. 
bread flour? yes bread flour. 

1 lb (4 sticks) plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
9 oz light brown sugar
5 oz white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb 3 oz king arthur bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

preheat oven to 325 degreesF. 
prepare a half sheet tray, or two quarter sheet trays, by buttering and lining with parchment paper. allow for a two inch overhang on the long sides of the pan to help release the shortbread after baking. 
cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. add eggs and vanilla until combined, then mix in dry ingredients. combine completely. 

divide dough evenly between the prepared sheet trays, spreading smooth and level. sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake until golden brown, about 35-45 minutes. 
let cool completely before cutting into squares with a sharp knife. they will keep well at room temperature for a week. 

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