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Mean Chef's Classic Shortbread Cookies

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“I adopted this recipe after its original poster, Mean Chef (IHHDRO), departed the site. Mean posted it on Nov 21, 2003. His comments: "Classic shortbread with three variations. From Fine Cooking Magazine NOTE: baking times will vary depending on your oven."”
36-48 cookies

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Combine butter, sugar and salt in a stand mixer (use paddle attachment).
  3. Mix on low speed until the butter combines with the sugar, but isn't perfectly smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add flour and mix on low, scraping frequently, until dough has just about pulled together, about 3 minutes.
  5. Don't overmix.
  6. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a uniform 1/4 inch.
  7. Cut dough into bars or squares with a sharp knife or use a cookie cutter.
  8. Reroll scraps- refrigerate dough if it becomes sticky.
  9. Arrange on baking sheets and refrigerate until chilled- about 20 minutes.
  10. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees.
  11. Bake cookies until golden on the bottom and edges and pale to golden on the top- 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  12. Rotate baking sheets every 15 minutes.
  13. Cool.
  14. Variations: Brown sugar and oatmeal- use brown sugar in place of white and add 1/2 cup quick cooking oats with the flour.
  15. Chocolate dipped espresso- Add 2 Tbl finely ground espresso coffee beans with the flour.
  16. Dip half of each cooled cookie into melted chocolate (9 oz semisweet chocolate melted with 1 Tbl vegetable shortening).
  17. Place cookies on parchment line sheetpan to set up- 2 hours.
  18. Orange-Hazelnut- Add 2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) skinned, toasted and finely ground hazelnuts (use food processor) and 2 tsp (loosely packed) finely grated orange zest from 1 orange along with the flour.

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