12 Tablespoons unsalted Butter (1 1/2 sticks), slightly softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a heavy 2-qt saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter over low heat. Cook butter 8 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butter solids at the bottom of the pan are rich brown color and butter has a nutty aroma. (Be careful not to over brown butter, it will have a bitter flavor.) Pour browned Butter into small bowl.
|I made a triple batch so that is why the measurement is more. Look at all the tasty brown bits.|
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed, beat sugar with cooled browned butter and remaining 6 tablespoons softened butter until creamy.
With your hands - mix flour and salt into butter mixture just until crumbs form. (Do not over work dough - shortbread will be tough.) Pat shortbread crumbs into ungreased 9-in round tart pan/standard round cake pan/or tart pan.
With a fork, prick dough in many places.
Bake shortbread 40 to 45 minutes, until browned around the edge. Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.
Remove shortbread from pan to cutting board.
While still warm, cut shortbread into 16 wedges.
It is so important to brown some of the butter first as it helps give the Shortbread a deep, rich flavor.
NO substitutions allowed - it has to be Butter!
Make sure you cut the shortbread when it is warm. If you wait too long - it will break and crumble.
I love the smell of the butter browning in preparation for this tasty, crumbly, rich and buttery treat. The aroma it creates as it bakes is the best!