Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Browned Butter Shortbread

I'm a sucker for browned butter. I'm a sucker for shortbread. I've wanted to make browned butter shortbread for a long time, and finally did last week. And then again 3 days ago. A double batch. The second time it was for my husband's birthday party, though, we're not complete gluttons...

This is based on Alice Medrich's twice-baked shortbread (though hers is not browned butter) from Pure Dessert - a fabulous book that every baker should own. The first time I made it I did bake it twice, the second I didn't have time. It was delicious both ways.

Browned Butter Shortbread
Adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich

12 tablespoons butter, browned
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Butter a 9 1/2 inch round fluted tart pan. Set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. Pat the dough evenly into prepared pan. Allow to rest for at least 2 hours or overnight, for the most buttery, tender, crunchy shortbread. The second baking is used to toast the shortbread, and adds extra crunch and deepens the flavor.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300. Place shortbread on rack in the lower third of the oven, with a baking sheet or aluminum foil on the floor of the oven to catch butter drippings. Bake the shortbread for 45 min. Remove shortbread from oven, leaving the oven on. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges using a sharp, thin knife, being careful to keep pieces intact. Place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on rack.


  1. Mmmm! I love shortbread! I'll have to give it a go sometime.

  2. Does baking it twice make it more crisp? Bet the flavor is outstanding with the browned butter. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lauren -

    Yes, the second baking makes the shortbread crisp around all the edges, and adds more depth of flavor. This shortbread is unbelievable - I never knew shortbread could have so much flavor!

  4. Does it matter if the butter is salted or unsalted?

  5. No, it doen't matter if the butter is salted or not, you'll just need to adjust the salt in the dough. I actually bake a lot with salted butter, and I've never had a problem. There is no set amount of salt in salted butter, but estimating 1/4 teaspoon salt per stick has always worked for me.


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