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Recipe for family meals :

Basic Shortbread

This is one of the recipes that has been provided by Shirley Cline from San Francisco in response to my quest for recipes using Balsamic Vinegar. (You can contact Shirley by emailing her - click here).

Shirley says: "My hairdresser made these shortbread bars and they are FANTASTIC. It is a Martha Stewart Recipe".

The buttery cookie gets better with age. It can be stored up to a month and over that time, it's flavor deepens. Dip the tips of the cookies in melted chocolate for a decorative touch.


1 1/3 cups (2 sticks plus 6 Tblsp.) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pure vanilla Extract
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

  • Preheat oven to 275°
  • Butter a 9" x 13" x 1" baking pan, and line bottom with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add salt and vanilla and continue to beat.
  • Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until just combined.
  • Press dough into prepared pan, leveling and smoothing the top.
  • Using a dough scraper or the back of a knife, cut dough lengthwise into nine strips slightly less than 1 inch wide. Cut the strips crosswise into thirty-six 3 inch bars.
  • Using the lines of a fork or a wooden skewer, create a decorative pattern on the surface.
  • Bake shortbread until evenly pale golden, but not browned, 70 - 85 minutes.
  • Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.
  • Invert pan and remove parchment. Turn shortbread over, and carefully break, or cut with a serrated knife into bars.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to one month.

Makes 36

Shirley Cline