So as this was shortly before Christmas last year, I knew I’d have the perfect opportunity to attempt the recipe…and my family would be the guinea pigs…heh heh heh. My mom, being one of the world’s foremost shortbread connoisseurs (kinda sorta but not really), would be the only person who would be able to honestly let me know if this recipe was on target or not. And of course it was…after all, it IS a Martha recipe!! These came out perfectly and were so incredibly easy to make it’s stinkin’ ridiculous! I just made them again today for a church function tomorrow and am having a wee bit (ok A LOT) of trouble keeping my hands off them. I hope they make it to church in the morning…….
- 1 1/3 cups (2 sticks plus 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-by-1-inch baking pan, and line bottom with parchment paper. (I didn’t butter but just laid the parchment down in a dark non-stick pan.) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add salt and vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until just combined.
- Press dough into prepared pan, leveling and smoothing the top. Using a dough scraper or the back of a knife, cut dough lengthwise into nine strips, each slightly less than 1 inch wide. Cut the strips crosswise into thirty-six 3-inch bars. Using the tines of a fork or a wooden skewer, create a decorative pattern on the surface.
- Bake shortbread until evenly pale golden, but not browned, 70 to 85 minutes. (With a dark pan, don’t cook for more than 70 minutes.) Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Invert pan, and remove parchment. Turn shortbread over, and carefully break, or cut with a serrated knife, into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.