Day #2 of Cookie Week! And today I’m bringing you a deceptively simple recipe for Maple Shortbread. This is a five ingredient recipe, no heavy equipment required, and not even any scooping, chilling or cutting of dough.
The whole thing is simply patted into a baking dish, and then sliced into little rectangles while it’s still warm. The sprinkle of sugar on top of these cookies makes them seem like they’re dusted with a fresh falling of snow.
They elegant, understated appearance of these cookies belies the absolute perfection of their taste. The best thing about these is that they will often be overlooked in favour of a fancier treat, meaning that you will be left with the most delicious, solitary treat.
The awesome food writer Laurie Colwin describe Scottish tablet (a type of shortbread) as ‘solidified butter and sugar’, and that is what these taste like. But then add a smoky layer of maple, and a slightly caramelised, brown butter edge, and then imagine the cookie dissolving to nothing as soon as it hits your tongue. Swoon.
These, as you might imagine, are absolutely heavenly next to a cup of coffee. But they would be equally good with tea or hot chocolate – and I actually can’t think of any homemade gift I would rather receive than a decorative little box filled with these.
The #sugarhitcookieweek rages on tomorrow, and I’ll be sharing lots of your photos on Instagram, and Pinning my little heart out on my Cookies! board. I can’t wait to hear about how these turn out if you make these – do you like a subtle cookie? Or are you more of the candy bars, m&m’s, candy canes and the kitchen sink type? Note: I’m both!
- 2 sticks + 2 tbsp (255g) butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar + extra for topping
- 1½ tsp maple extract
- 1¾ cups (260g) plain flour
- ½ cup (75g) cornflour (aka cornstarch)
- Preheat the oven to 325F/160C and grease and line an 9inch (23cm) square baking dish.
- Beat together the butter, caster sugar and maple extract until very soft and pale in colour.
- Add the flour and cornflour and stir until a smooth dough forms.
- Pat and press the mixture into the baking dish, and smooth the top with a small palette knife.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the shortbread takes on a light golden brown colour. Immediately sprinkle the top of the shortbread with extra sugar and gently shake the tin to coat.
- While the shortbread is still warm in the tin, slice it into small rectangles, and then leave to cool completely. Remove the biscuits from the tin when cool, and store in an air tight container.