Buttery Shortbread Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
4 to 5 raspberries, mashed into a puree
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the salt; set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat, at medium speed, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract until combined.
Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and flatten into a disk, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or even overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack placed in the center position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a ¼-inch thick circle (this doesn’t have to be perfectly round), turning frequently to prevent the dough from sticking. If dough should stick, sparingly add just a bit of flour to the rolling pin and/or work surface.
Use a cookie cutter to cut into desired shape, then place each cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently form the remaining dough into a ball and roll it out again until ¼-inch thick, then cut into cookies.
To prevent the cookies from spreading as they bake, chill the cut cookies in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until cookies are very lightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies sit for one minute on the tray before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
When adding the icing, I prefer to leave part of the cookie bare so that it is easy to pick up and enjoy. Dip just one half, the bottom or the top of each cookie in the icing and place on a wire rack to dry.
To store: Store in an airtight container for up to one week, or in the freezer (without icing) for up to 2 months. Metal tins work best, as plastic can cause the shortbread to soften.
For the Icing:
In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice until well combined. Add a spoonful of the raspberry puree and stir until incorporated. Taste and adjust flavorings as desired.
For a deeper pink, add more raspberry puree; for lighter, add more powdered sugar. If the icing is too thick, add more lemon juice, or water (depending on taste), one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate for up to 3 days; stir before using and add more liquid if necessary.
- Use a good-quality, unsalted butter, but if using salted butter, skip the amount of salt included in the recipe.
- For best results, always use room temperature butter.