This Classic Shortbread is crispy, crumbly, sandy, and melt-in-your-mouth all at the same time. With the little bursts of fleur de sel flavor, they are incredibly difficult to resist.
Fleur de sel, a wonderful finishing salt that is hand harvested, brings back memories of a trip to Provence we took about 14 years ago. My dad had rented a farmhouse in Bonnieux for several weeks, and we got to stay for one of the weeks. We spent the week visiting many of the open air markets in the different towns throughout the region. It was truly an amazing vacation.
One of the few things I brought back from that trip was a little container of fleur de sel, which I have used sparingly as a finishing salt, mostly on chocolate and caramel. This little container brings back wonderful memories from the trip, and of my dad (although I did have several white knuckle moments as he drove us from market to market on the French roads).
I've since purchased a large container of this wonderful salt, which I use to refill this original container.
Today, the #CreativeCookieExchange is making cookies with the theme, Make Someone's Day!
I made a batch of these cookies for someone special to me who loves shortbread even more than chocolate chip cookies! I could tell by the smile on her face that these made her happy. I also am sharing some with my grandkids, who always get excited when I make them a treat. Cookies from grandma usually makes their day.
I made the dough for these cookies in the evening, and then cut and baked them the next day. Easy peasy.
After the recipe, check out all of the Make Someone's Day links for wonderful cookie recipes. Make someone's day!
Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel Recipe
1 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. The butter should be cool.
1 C confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C all purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons if necessary
1/2 C white rice flour
2 large egg yolks
Fleur de sel for sprinkling (you could use sanding sugar instead of the salt, or just leave them plain)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter on high with the paddle attachment until smooth.
- Add the sugar and salt, and beat for a minute or two, until incorporated.
- Whisk the two flours together, and add the mixture in two additions. Mix on low until just mixed in.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. If the dough is too wet, add the additional flour.
- Briefly knead the dough on the counter until everything is fully blended. Do not over mix.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, flatten them into round disks that are just slightly less than 1/2 inch thick. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Remove one disk at a time from the refrigerator, sprinkle lightly with the sea salt, cut into six wedges, and pierce each wedge with a fork.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 17 to 22 minutes, until the cookies just begin to brown on the edges.
- Cool the pans on a wire rack for 10 minute. Move the cookies to a wire rack and continue to cool.
- Keep in an airtight container up to five days.
Recipe slightly adapted from the wonderful book Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
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