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Thank you Tante Betty for sharing your amazing shortbread recipe with me!
I have made a few shortbread recipes over the years, but none were ever good enough to post on my blog. I finally asked my Tante Betty if she would share her recipe with me, and she was kind enough to send it.
Apparently there are two camps in the shortbread game. Some people feel strongly that just three ingredients make the best shortbread: butter, sugar and flour. The others prefer to also include cornstarch. I’m sure they’re all great, but to me this recipe with three ingredients (well, two types of sugar) makes the best traditional shortbread.
The only change I made to Tante Betty’s recipe was to cut the recipe in half. I want to make a few different kinds of cookies in smaller batches, so I decided to halve a lot of the recipes. Feel free to double the recipe to make the full four dozen.
One caveat with this recipe: when cutting the cookies into your desired shapes, stick to a cookie cutter that is not too intricate. I tried making some awesome reindeer cookies, but they broke apart when I tried to put them on the cookie sheet.
So, here’s the recipe:
What you need:
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
What you do:
Prepare baking pans by lining with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugars with an electric beater. This will take 4-5 minutes to get it nice and fluffy. The sugar should become a lighter colour when you are done.
Add the flour to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. You can do this the before if you want. Just take it out of the fridge about half an hour before you want to roll it out.
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to less than one centimetre thick. Use floured cookie cutters to cut into your desired shapes. Place the cookies onto the cookie sheets.
Bake two pans at a time, rotating the pans halfway through the baking, for about 20 minutes (or less – check at around 15 minutes – they should not become brown). The back of the oven tends to be hotter, so if you flip the pans around they will bake more evenly.
Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool. They should be stored in an airtight container, and can be frozen for a few weeks.