I’ve been making this shortbread recipe since I was in grade school: if I could do it back then, you can do it now. My “heirloom recipe” ingredients were lifted directly from the back of a (legacy) Canada Corn Starch box — though my preparation methods are entirely different. I “adapted” this shortbread preparation method inadvertently at the age of 11 — the day I “ran out of time” to soften the butter at room temperature. Back then, our microwave didn’t really do much in the way of “softening” butter, so I used the “pie crust” method of cutting the cold butter into the flour mixture and a superior cookie was born. My shortbread cookies are flaky, tasty, and crisp…and I’ve never looked back.
As it turns out — these cookie ingredients fall under the “very low sodium” category… though, with the main binding ingredient being butter, you may want to hold off eating the entire batch (by yourself) in one sitting!
Yield: Makes approximately 32 cookies.
1/2 cup cornstarch (125 mL)
1/2 cup icing sugar (125 mL)
1 cup all-purpose flour (250 mL)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (*cold/refrigerated) (175 mL)
(Optional: Icing, colored [cake decorating] “sanding” sugar)
*Note: I do not recommend starting this recipe with softened butter or blending this mixture a lot with your hands: I think that too much kneading (via soft butter) changes the overall composition of the mix, making the cookies far more dense.
- Preheat the oven to 300F
- Sift together cornstarch, icing sugar, and all-purpose flour. Blend (well) in a bowl.
- Separately, cut the butter into small “slabs”, approximately 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut the butter into the dry mixture: this can achieved by using two knives (cut the butter repeatedly into the flour), a fork, or a pastry blender.
- Cut the butter into the mixture until the mixture is evenly distributed.
- Gently knead the mixture into a ball. At this point, the heat from your hands will start to melt the butter, and allow the components to stick together. It doesn’t take a lot of kneading to make this dough ball.
- Roll out the dough (approximately 1/4″), cut with cookie cutters, and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake 300F oven: approximately 10-15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
- Remove from heat, cool on wire rack. Decorate as desired.