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A light and buttery shortbread – the secret to success is tremendous beating.
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
See note below *. In the bowl of your stand mixer, on medium speed, beat the butter for ages (5 minutes). Then add the egg yolk and beat forever (5 minutes). Add the sugar and beat for an eternity (5 minutes). Then add the flour in 4 parts (1/2 cup at a time), beating for 2 minutes after each addition. Then beat an additional 2 minutes for good luck.
Roll the batter into balls (scant tablespoon full for each ball) and place on baking sheets. Flatten the tops slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass (cookies should be about 1/2 inch thick). Bake for about 12-15 minutes until very slightly brown on the bottom edge.
* Notes: the secret to this recipe is tremendous beating. Use pure butter – no substitutions this time! And be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl between ingredient additions to ensure everything is combined perfectly.
Adapted from a family recipe handed down to me by Rose Dyer.