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April 25, 2011

Twice-baked shortbread

Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert is undoubtably my go-to cookbook for baking. I don’t bake *that* often so when I do, it’s usually for special occasion. (Or I’m making Jacques Torres choco chip cookies, for everyday consumption). Which means I always turn to Alice and her lovely, subtle way with all things sweet.

I made her twice baked shortbread for a little 100LC project this weekend and not surprisingly, it was delicious. The recipe is so simple that I had to read it three times just to make sure I wasn’t missing something major. And you don’t have to get out the stand mixer or anything. A bowl and a spoon will do just fine.

Alice Medrich’s twice-baked shortbread

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and still warm
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces if you’re weighing) all purpose flour

plus turbinado or demerara sugar for sprinkling

And a baking pan with a removable bottom, like a round or rectangular fluted tart pan. If you don’t have a tart pan, you can line a regular square pan with a sheet of foil so you can lift the finished shortbread out in one piece.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated. It will be really really buttery! Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or if possibly overnight. (No need to refridgerate).

Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake shortbread for 45 minutes. If you have a cute stove from the 50′s that doesn’t regulate temperature very well and burns everything you attempt to bake like I do, I highly recommend setting a piece of foil over the top of the pan until the last few minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the shortbread from the pan (v. v. carefully!). Use a thin sharp knife to cut wedges or fingers or squares. Place the pieces slightly apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes, until it’s golden brown.

Cool on a rack.

And then try to eat just one piece. It melts like crazy in your mouth.


  1. Kristin said on April 26, 2011

    oh my goodness, I can’t wait to make this! And it really couldn’t look simpler.

  2. Laura Aziz said on May 3, 2011

    I am so pleased I saw this!

    I had two very *meh* results making two different shortbread recipes this weekend.

    Fingers crossed for third time lucky!

  3. Nix said on May 4, 2011

    That looks divine. I like the large sugar crystals on top :)

  4. StephCarmen said on May 18, 2011

    This recipe worked out so well! I’d recommend reading the entire recipe before you start making this! I failed to do so which resulted in my husband and I eating shortbread at midnight! It was delicious all the same!

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