I have been traveling quite a bit for work lately, and one night I got in to the PDX airport and Dave was there to pick me up. It was almost midnight. I had eaten not-great food for dinner while at an airport that unfortunately only had Pepsi products (not even Dr. Pepper). So I drank the last of my water and shoveled pizza as I realized that My flight boarded in ten minutes and I was apparently in the wrong terminal.
It had been six days since I had eaten something made at home. At PDX, I threw my bags in the trunk, collapsed into the passenger seat and Dave had these shortbread cookies waiting for me.
It was the best welcome home of all time.
Shortbread on its own is great, especially if it’s a simple shortbread, but what I really like about his recipe is that he added a heavy pinch of salt. That pinch made the buttery taste really shine, and I savored every bite of these.
So I guess I’d say that my advice for these cookies is to make them for someone you love. It will get the message across loud and clear.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups AP flour
Heavy pinch of salt
Sift the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Cream the butter and sugar together until they are fluffy.
Then, with the mixer on low speed, mix in the vanilla, flour and salt, until the mixture forms a dough. Move the dough to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silpat and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Gently slice into strips or whatever shape you prefer using a pizza cutter, but do not move them. Poke holes in the cookies with a fork or chop stick to allow steam to vent. Cover and chill for one hour in the refrigerator.
After the hour, preheat the oven to 325. Bake the shortbread for about 30 minutes, or until you see some light browning around the edge. Dave recommended keeping a close eye on it after 15 minutes. After baking, you will need to go over your cuts again to break the cookies apart.