Classic Shortbread

Adapted from the Brown Bag Website

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar (unsifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour (unsifted)
1/4 cup brown rice or plain flour (I use Bob's Red Mill Brand)

Preheat oven to 325F. 

Using the back of a large, wooden spoon, cream the butter until it is light. Add the powered sugar and blend,  then mix in the vanilla. Work in the flours until just blended then knead the dough on an unfloured surface until nice and smooth. If using a ceramic shortbread pan, spray it very lightly with a non-stick vegetable oil spray (I used Baker's Joy). I also rubbed a small amount of softened butter onto the pan. Put the ball of dough in the middle of the pan, and working out from the center, firmly press the dough into the pan. Prick the entire surface with a fork thoroughly, and bake the shortbread in the bottom 1/3rd of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. Be sure that the middle is thoroughly cooked and doesn’t look slightly opaque or the shortbread could stick in the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  I very gently pressed on the edge of the shortbread with a knife all around the edges to help it release.  Then, place a cutting board over the top of the shortbread pan and carefully flip it over.  Gently lift off the pan and hopefully, it will have released.  If not, lift up the pan about 1" from the cutting board and let it drop.  Cut the shortbread into serving pieces while it is still warm.

If you don't have a shortbread pan, simply pat the kneaded shortbread dough into a small (7-8") tart pan.  You could even place it on a baking sheet and pat it out into a 7-8" free-form square or circle.  Cut into pieces while still warm.
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