This is a short post and there’s no history, story or interesting anecdotes to these shortbread bars. My daughter loves short bread and frequently demands that I bake some for her. My husband and I find shortbread too buttery and rich (the coffee and chocolate chunk shortbread squares mentined below are the exception), but there’s something about them that my daughter finds irresistible.
In fact, you can see how much she likes them when you realize this is my fifth shortbread post on this blog. The others are Ghorayebah (Arabic shortbread cookies), Shortbread Cookies, Scottish Shortbread, and Coffee And Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Squares!
This recipe is from one of my favourite and much thumbed cookie book, Cookies: Step-By-Step Techniques. The original recipe calls for vanilla, which I substituted with cardamom. If you do not have the cardamom, use vanilla extract.
This recipe requires just four ingredients, all of which should be easily available in most kitchens. It is loaded with butter, but then what is shortbread if not buttery?
I have it on authority (I consider my daughter one on shortbread, since she’s eaten so much of it!), that these shortbread bars are “really good”, so do give them a chance.
200 gm butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar + 2 tbsps extra
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp powdered cardamom
Beat together the butter and brown sugar till light and creamy. Add the cardamom and the flour and blend very well.
Gather the dough into a ball and press it out into a lightly greased rectangular baking tray (the type one uses for sheet cakes; mine is about 2” high on the sides) so that it is 1/4” thick. Sprinkle the extra 2 tbsps brown sugar evenly on the top and lightly press it into the dough.
Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate till firm (for about an hour). Mark the dough into bars by cutting through to the bottom, with a sharp knife. If you wish to bake this later, the dough will keep in the fridge upto 3 days.
If you would rather have regular round cookies, then gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate till firm (for about an hour) or for upto 3 days.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough till it is 1/4" thick.
Cut out into 2 1/2” cookies with cutters and sprinkle the extra 2 tbsps brown sugar evenly on the top. Lightly press the sugar into the dough with the rolling pin. Place the cookies, slightly apart, on lightly greased sheets.
Bake the bars/ cookies at 150C for about 35 to 40 minutes until firm to touch. Press very lightly to check if they’re done.
Cool on racks and store in airtight containers.
This recipe should make about 36 bars/ cookies.