Brown Sugar Shortbread

I like to sneak a bit of light brown sugar into almost everything I make. I love the flavor of the molasses in brown sugar. White sugar[, a peerless product in many ways, doesn't taste like anything but sweet. Using brown sugar, like toasting nuts before adding them to a recipe, adds another level of flavor. You won't think "Oh, this tastes like brown sugar." You'll simply think "Oh, this is the best shortbread I have ever had." Homemade shortbread with ice cream is one of the coziest desserts you could possibly make for a dinner party of friends. Though it used to be commonplace (under the name short'nin' bread), almost no one bakes it at home any more. It's a snap.]

Total Time:
50 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
30 bars
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10 by 14 1/2-inch sheet pan (with sides) with parchment or waxed paper.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until soft and smooth. Add the brown sugar and mix until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and cornstarch. Add to the butter mixture and mix at low speed just until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it 5 to 10 times, just to smooth the dough.

Reflour your work surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to fit the sheet pan. To transfer to the sheet pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, lift it up, and unroll into the pan. Using light strokes of the rolling pin, roll the dough evenly into the corners and edges of the pan, and roll out any bumps. (Or, press the rolled-out dough thoroughly into the pan with your fingers.) Prick the shortbread all over with a fork to prevent any buckling or shrinking.

Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the pan and knock it once against the oven rack, to ensure even cooking and a flat surface. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until very lightly browned.

Immediately sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the surface. Let cool 10 minutes, then cut into 1 1/2 by 3-inch bars. Let cool completely in the pan, then store in an airtight container.


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    These are really easy to make (easier if I had the right sized pan!) and are just the right sweetness. Perfect for making goodie bags as small gifts. These turned out just right!
    And the cinnamon goes where? I guess it would be ok either in the shortbread or mixed with the sugar topping, but I do wish the recipe said. I also found that despite careful measuring the dough was way too sticky it would not have been possible to knead it. I had to add an extra cup of flour and even then it was too sticky to roll. However the end result is crisp and light but I do think that there are better shortbread recipes than this.
    For my first attempt at shortbread, it turned out very well. The recipe come out a little more crumbly than one would expect, but it tastes really good. I made it for my father for christmas last year, and he loved it. He requested it again this year. And as my father is supper picky when it comes to his shortbread as well as my husband and they both loved it, I say that it gives a big seal of approval.
    These cookies are so light and crisy they are addicting!! They are delicious and easy to make. I make them to go with pudding or even a scoop of ice cream. I've also drizzled them with a little chocolate and put them with a dish of fruit. Perfect.
    Dough was too sticky and would not roll out well.
    I loved this recipe the shortbread was outstanding!
    Excellent, everything and anything that Gale cooks up is wonderful and excellent. Her recipes never fail, too bad she no longer has a tv show in my area.
    Wonderful shortbread - light, flaky, creamy-tasting, and smells nice baking. (I put the cinnamon in the recipe before baking)
    i usually love gale's recipes but this one was a disappointment. i think the next time i will bake it with the sugar cinnamon mixture as opposed to placing it on after it comes out the oven. oh well, better luck next time.
    This is very good shortbread, much better than the store-bought kind. I left it just a little soft, cut it into sticks, and dipped it in melted chocolate.
    This makes a wonderful golden shortbread with great flavor. I will make this cookie again.
    I made these last night and they were so easy to make! (And to eat!) I will never buy that expensive shortbread in the plaid tins again!
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