Flaky, buttery, crumbly, classic shortbread.
(adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pan
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1. Sift together flour and salt into a bowl. Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl. Gradually add confectioners' sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture all at once; mix until just combined.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F, with rack in upper third.
3. Butter a 10-inch fluted tart pan. (The recipe suggests using a pan with a removable bottom. I did not have one and the recipe worked out fine.)
4. Using plastic wrap, press dough into the pan, making sure to press against edges. With plastic on dough, refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. Remove plastic wrap. Cut out a round from the center using a 2 1/4-inch cookie cutter; discard. Using a wooden skewer, prick all over at 1/4 inch intervals. Put cutter back in center. Using a paring knife, cut dough into eight wedges. (I cut it into ten wedges.)
This is what it should look like before baking it in the oven.
6. Bake until golden brown and firm in the center, about 1 hour. Recut shortbread into wedges; let cool completely in pan.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Or, they can be combined with some chocolate shortbread stars and be plated and packaged to give to friends for the new year.
Happy New Year!