All you need is:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter. I use the low-fat butter.
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 cups of flour
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
You'll want to let the butter sit on the counter for around 1/2 hour so it comes to room temperature. This makes it easier to blend in the the sugars.
You'll bake the shortbread in pie pan. Melt some butter in a sauce pan; then use a pastry brush to brush the melted butter around the bottom and sides of the pie pan.
In a bowl, mix the butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla till it's light and fluffy. It will be very easy to stir and mix. Mix in the flour. Some folks will tell you to mix the flour in with your hands, but I use a spoon because I'd rather not waste the dough on my fingers when I can make cookies from it.
Spoon the dough into the pie pan, and spread it around the pan. I plop all the dough into the center of the pie pan, and carefully spread it out.
As an additional treat, you can chop a 1/4 cup of pecans and sprinkle them on top of the dough in the pan. I also added some mini chocolate chips. Lightly press the topping into the dough, just so it doesn't fall off later.
Put the shortbread into the oven for around 45 minutes. The shortbread will be brown around the edges, and when you press on the center with your finger, it will still give a smidge. You don't want it to give a lot, but you also don't want to over bake the cookies.
Take the shortbread out of the oven, and let it cool in the pie pan for around 15 minutes. Using oven mitts, turn the pie pan over onto a cutting board. Cut the pie into 8 pieces, and let it cool some more. Or if you are like me, you start eating as the shortbread is warm.
As you can see, shortbread is very easy to make. Use your imagination, and use some other toppings, like butterscotch or peanut butter chips or caramel.
Remember that shortbread also makes a good side with a dish of ice cream. Enjoy!