A proper shortbread adheres to a strict 3:2:1 weight ratio–3 parts flour, 2 parts butter, and 1 part sugar. I’ve included volume measurements too, but—to be honest—I’ve never used them. (I’m a stickler for precision.) If you ever needed a reason to buy a kitchen scale, this recipe would be it. The subtle sweet and buttery flavor of this treat pairs well with my favorite tea as an afternoon snack. Shortbread can also function as the base for a number of tart and cookie recipes, like Lemon Bars. — H. Weal
6 ounces (170 grams) flour
4 ounces (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces (57 grams) sugar
medium (3-quart) mixing bowl
8-inch square baking pan
1. Set oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour and sugar in bowl. With mixer on medium-low speed, beat in butter until mixture is crumbly.
2. Spread and press dough evenly into pan.
3. Bake until edges have lightly browned — about 15 minutes.
4. Allow to cool before cutting into 12 bars.
NOTE & TIPS
• 6 ounces flour = just over 1 1/3 cups flour
• 4 ounces butter = 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
• 2 ounces sugar = about 4 1/2 tablespoons
• If using confectioner’s sugar, 2 ounces = about 7 1/2 tablespoons (or just under 1/2 cup)