There are two main benefits of having a doctor for a father. Number one is that you rarely have to go the doctor, your dad’s skill sets range from checking fevers and the likes, to giving stitches, to small surgical procedures like the time I got a sliver lodged about an inch under the surface of my big toe. (I thought I was so cool, sitting on my parents holding my favourite stuffed lion while my dad froze my foot. Oh the good old days…) The other great thing is Christmas gift baskets.
I love me a gift basket.
My sister and I would rummage through them, bargaining over chocolates, and caramel sauce, and out all time favourite, LU cookies, the wafer like cookies with chocolate molded in the shape of Louis the 8th on top. They were tres cool.
The one thing I don’t remember fighting about is shortbread cookies. Meh. They were dry, they weren’t sweet enough, they made your mouth almost pucker as it sucked away so much moisture you couldn’t whistle afterwards. Oh no, you can have the shortbreads Nina, really, they’re all yours.
Then this summer I had to make some for work, and I tried an edge piece, just to make sure they were okay. I had an epiphany. Homemade shortbread cookies are amazing. They are dry, but they’re so rich and crispy and wonderful. Store bought shortbreads are a travesty! Imagine my shock. But now that I know the potential I’ve been eating them lots and I realize I went in with a bang, the recipe from Tartine Bakery in San Fransisco is incredible. Wonderful! A head and shoulders above the rest. I have tried sevral other recipes since and none come close. So here is my favourite ever shortbread recipe, that is moist and crispy and sandy all at the same time. Oh, and delicious.
1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft (9 oz)
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (9 0z)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cornstarch (2 2/3 oz)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 1/2 oz)
1/4 cup superfine or granulated sugar for topping (2 oz)
Preheat oven to 325F
Butter a 8inch square pan, or if you have a fancy pants shortbread tin like me, use one of those. I buttered mine and then popped it into the oven for a minute to make sure the butter melted into all the crevices.
Cream together butter and sugar
whisk together the flour and corn starch and add to the butter mixture until it is just barely combined
Press the dough into your prepared pan
Bake for about 20 minutes-ish. I keep mine on the less cooked side of things.
carefully put a plate or cutting board onto of the shortbread and flip it over.
Beautiful no? Now slice it while it’s still hot, eat lots and drink tea and stay out of the cold!