Walker’s shortbread is married to my memories of childhood holidays in England, from where a good chunk of my family hails. The gentle buttery crumble of shortbread is an instant pleaser, and a perfect accessory to ice cream, coffee, and tea. Though for people like me addicted to flavors that pop, it can tend to seem prude in taste. For the past several days matcha green tea has been cloying at my mind, and so it quickly powdered its way into my first attempt at making these delightful biscuits. This recipe is shockingly easy, and you can store your dough in the freezer for baking a fresh batch when friends drop by for a mug of tea.
Inspired by a classic recipe in Lisa Shroeder's cookbook Mother's Best.
- Basic Shortbread:
- Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Organic granulated cane sugar - 1/2 cup
- Kosher salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- All-purpose flour - 2 cups
- Pure vanilla extract - 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- (Optional Additions) Matcha Green Tea Shortbread:
- Matcha green tea powder - Add 2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
- Vanilla extract - Reduce vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon
- (Optional Additions) Lemon Rosemary Shortbread:
- Vanilla - 2 teaspoons
- Lemon zest - 1 tablespoon
- Rosemary - 1 teaspoon, freshly minced
- (Optional Additions) Burnt Orange Caramel Shortbread:
- Burnt orange caramel or other caramel - 3 tablespoons
- Sea salt - 2 1/4 teaspoons
- Place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor with the paddle attachment, and beat at medium speed. Stop the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once, and continue beating for about 3 minutes until the mixture is fluffy. You can also do this in a bowl with a fork!
- Scrape the sides again (in your mixer, processor, or bowl) and add the flour, vanilla and optional flavorings. Mix briefly, for maximum 30 seconds, until incorporated.
- Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. Gather the dough into a ball and place it onto the center of the wrap. Fold one of the long ends of the wrap over onto the dough and use it to help you press and shape the dough into a 12-inch log. Wrap the plastic around the log and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or freeze and bake later.
- To bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Position the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease them with butter.
- Remove the plastic wrap and cut the log into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices on the prepared pans, 1 inch apart, and bake until they just start to turn golden around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back midway through baking.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack or a separate plate or cutting board to cool.
- Repeat with the remaining batches.
- Note: Some recipes call for confectioners sugar instead of granulated sugar. I tested both in this recipe, and while the difference was subtle, the granulated sugar worked best!