Have I talked about the shortbread cookies at Panera before? No? that is a glaring and irresponsible oversight. I love the shortbread cookies at Panera. They are buttery deliciousness. And apparently, the recipie to which is closely guarded by Panera, due to my diligent fruitless internet searches.
So. I have tried other shortbread recipes, but they have not come close to the awesome of the Panera ones. As a result, I decided to branch out and make Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies. I took a recipe from Ina Garten that I made as regular shortbread, which was good, a solid B+ and substituted the sugar with dark brown sugar, which gave it a nutty, deeper flavor. I think these rival the ones at Panera in terms of tasty-ness.
I used the fall shape cutouts that I borrowed from my cousin Kelly, the big ones are leaves and the tiny ones are acorns.
Cooling on the racks.
Acorns just out of the oven (excuse the crappy kitchen lighting)
I am going to try to resist eating all of them before work on monday.
Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
(adapted from an Ina Garten Recipe)
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Or cutter of your choice. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.