Vertically Challenged Bread

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Let’s all stay politically correct here, okay? Nobody wants to eat smaller-than-average bread with a complex.1

These went straight from my oven to a fancy dinner part at a local museum. In case you’re not important enough to be invited to such an event, these can also be rolled flat and cut into exciting shapes, like dinosaurs or ferocious undersea predators.

Vertically Challenged Bread

shortbread1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar2
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in vanilla and almond extract, then add flour a little at a time until mixture holds together in a somewhat crumbly ball.3

Press into thick disc shape and chill in a ziploc or cling wrap in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Press (with fingers) into in a parchment paper-lined pan4 of your choice (depending upon desired thickness) and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until very lightly browned at the edges. It will still be soft when removed from the oven, so pay attention to color rather than consistency.

If you want it to look like the real deal, cut into 3/4″ x 2″ strips while still warm and soft, then poke shallow holes along the surface of each piece with a fork.

Serve as is, or–for fancier occasions–decorate with powdered sugar and/or chocolate drizzle.

shortbread2

  1. Consistently chosen last for the all-kitchen basketball team and unable to socialize with other pantry residents without the aid of a stepladder, this biscuit has had a tough life. []
  2. Confectioners’ sugar can be substituted for a smoother finish, or 1/8 cup brown sugar added to increase moisture and enhance flavor. []
  3. Basically, add as much flour as you can without completely losing cohesiveness. []
  4. If you are going the roll-and-cut route, let the chilled dough rest on the counter for a minute or two before rolling it out on a well-floured surface, sprinkling flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Also keep in mind that it will expand a bit while cooking, so space your exciting shapes accordingly. []

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