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.