There is something wildly decadent about a simple cookie recipe. Buttery, with a delicate crisp. This recipe has become my go-to recipe for gifts. In the age of allergies, it is really hard to give the gift of food. But, I have to admit, it’s my favorite kind of gift to give…and to receive.
Like most recipes that I want to make, I search and search for ones that I do not have to create. I am never a fan of reinventing the wheel. If there is a tried and true recipe out there, I would much rather use that one. However, with most of my dessert dilemmas, I either modify or create from scratch.
This is an example of creation. There are so many shortbread recipes out there. Some want powdered sugar, some add cornstarch, some add cream cheese (I’m not kidding). I wanted…I needed simple. I require real ingredients and good ingredients. This is an amazing recipe to use all of your organic ingredients that you buy and then wonder what you’ll use them on. Here is your answer.
I wanted simple. And that’s what I had to whittle down to this recipe. It can be taken to many more places though. I already have visions of cinnamon and chai, lemon and thyme, five spice and nutmeg. I should probably get to the gym before I make another batch.
My favorite part about this is the sugar content – it’s only 1/4 cup. I’m not sure if I’ve ever made cookies with only 1/4 cup. There is a stick of butter in it and I’m slowly being cured of my intense fear of all things containing large amounts of butter. I will never be completely cured, my heart aches and I still cringe when I open the wrapper and dump the entire stick in a recipe. I’m so sorry – don’t hate me.
Find solace in the fact that there are only 5 ingredients – 5 real ingredients that have very simple names. No weird chemical preservatives, hydrogenated oils or “colors”. Why are they coloring cookies anyway?
The yield is only slightly over a dozen, but who really needs that many cookies anyway, unless they are for gifts. Speaking of gifts…
- ½ cup unsalted butter - 1 stick - at room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (table or kosher, it doesn't matter)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- Add butter, sugar and vanilla to a bowl of a stand mixer or a bowl and a hand mixer
- On low speed, whip together until combined
- Add salt and flour and mix until small chunks start to form
- The mixture will be crumbly
- Pour dough out onto a clean countertop and form into a roll about 1.5" in diameter
- Roll up in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more
- Preheat oven to 350ºF, or 176ºC
- Unroll, slice into ½" pieces and place on cookie sheet
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges start to get slightly golden brown
- Remove from oven, allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and carefully transfer to cooking rack