Classic Shortbread Cookies

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This is my all-time, favorite cookie made in a ceramic Brown Bag brand shortbread pan that I purchased on eBay a few years ago. The pattern is called Wild Flowers and each triangle has a lovely impression of a flower.

The pans were popular in the 80’s and I was surprised to find that they are still made!  I saw quite a nice selection on Amazon and eBay. 

Tea in my favorite new infuser (Tea Forte) – a Christmas gift from a daughter.  Flowers blooming – a favorite cookie and tea – what could be better to ease a sore and achy back? I spent all afternoon last Sunday shoveling, raking, planting, bending and lifting cubic yards of potting soil.  My back is still paying the price!  But I was happy to get almost everything done before the rain began on Memorial Day.

This is only the second time I’ve used my ceramic shortbread pan.  The first time was a disaster with the cookies sticking to the pan and so I packed it away.  Then, I remembered the wonderful wild flower design and, with flowers blooming in the garden again, I decided it was time to give it another try.
 

This time, I did some research and found the Brown Bag website where it mentions to bake in the lower 1/3rd of the oven and also to make sure it is well baked.  I’m sure I didn’t cook mine long enough the first time and that is why it stuck to the pan.

I like to add a small amount of rice flour to my shortbread to give it a more ‘sandy’ texture so that is the only change I made to the recipe. I used a little less AP flour and replaced the rest with rice flour. This time, I used brown rice flour from Bob’s Red Mill because that is what I had on hand.

These are flaky, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread!

Classic Shortbread
Adapted from the Brown Bag Website
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar (unsifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour (unsifted)
1/4 cup brown rice or plain flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Brand)

Preheat oven to 325F.

Using the back of a large, wooden spoon, cream the butter until it is light. Add the powered sugar and blend, then mix in the vanilla. Work in the flours until just blended then knead the dough on an unfloured surface until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

If using a ceramic shortbread pan, spray it very lightly with a non-stick vegetable oil spray (I used Baker’s Joy). I also rubbed a small amount of softened butter onto the pan. Put the ball of dough in the middle of the pan, and working out from the center, firmly press the dough into the pan. Prick the entire surface with a fork thoroughly, and bake the shortbread in the bottom 1/3rd of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. Be sure that the middle is thoroughly cooked and doesn’t look slightly opaque or the shortbread could stick in the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. I very gently pressed on the edge of the shortbread with a flat icing knife all around the edges to help it release. Then, place a cutting board over the top of the shortbread pan and carefully flip it over. Gently lift off the pan and hopefully, it will have released. If not, lift up the pan about 1″ from the cutting board and let it drop. Then, cut the shortbread into serving pieces right away while it is still warm.

If you don’t have a shortbread pan, simply pat the kneaded shortbread dough into a small (7-8″) tart pan. You could even place it on a baking sheet and pat it out into a 7-8″ free-form square or circle. Cut into pieces while still warm.