Best Shortbread

Published November 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

To produce a worthwhile version of a shortbread recipe, we found that “reverse creaming” (mixing the flour and sugar together before adding the butter) contributed crumbly texture. Cutting back on the butter gave us good butter flavor without greasiness. Adding ground oats and cornstarch to… read more

To produce a worthwhile version of a shortbread recipe, we found that “reverse creaming” (mixing the flour and sugar together before adding the butter) contributed crumbly texture. Cutting back on the butter gave us good butter flavor without greasiness. Adding ground oats and cornstarch to the dough cut down on gluten development and gave us tender cookies. And baking the cookies briefly before turning off the heat and letting them dry in the still-warm oven made our shortbread recipe perfectly crisp.

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Best Shortbread

Follow these steps for perfect shortbread with a crumbly texture that isn’t overly dry.

Watch the Video

Makes 16 wedges

Use the collar of a springform pan to form the shortbread into an even round. Mold the shortbread with the collar in the closed position, then open the collar, but leave it in place. This allows the shortbread to expand slightly but keeps it from spreading too far. Wrapped well and stored at room temperature, shortbread will keep for up to 7 days.

Ingredients

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