Alice Medrich says that the secrets to crispy, tender shortbread are letting the dough rest in the pan for at least two hours before baking and adding a second baking to toast the cookies. I am a huge fan of shortbread, and like this biscotti-type technique to add a change of pace to one of my favorite cookies. This recipe was adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert.
Makes 24 cookies.
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and warm
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Turbinado, Demerara or granulated sugar for sprinkling
Grease the bottom and sides of 9 1/2 inch round pan with a removable bottom or line an 8×8 inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight (no need to refrigerate).
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, and lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes. Remove the shortbread from pan, being careful to avoid breaking it. Use a thin sharp knife to cut it into oblong “fingers”, wedges, or squares. Place the pieces slightly apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.