Wednesday, September 17, 2008

perfect shortbread.

One of my favorite things to do with my time (besides baking of course) is thrift store shopping. Although Portland thrift shops can be rather picked over when it comes to cool vintage clothing and kitschy household items, there is usually a ton of fabulous kitchen supplies for very low prices. While perusing one of my favorite neighborhood shops the other day, I came across some very adorable individual baking molds that I just couldn't resist, especially since they were marked half off, making my wallet only $2 short.

The next morning I sat in the kitchen trying to figure out what I should do with them. At first I decided to make madeleines and even started making the batter, but then I thought that the spongy consistency wouldn't hold the design of the molds. So I started over and went for a basic shortbread (oh, how I love shortbread with afternoon tea). I crossed my fingers after the little tins came out of the oven and was relieved to see that the small pineapple marking actually showed up quite nicely. What's next for these cute little pans? I'm sure I'll think of something.

Sweet and Perfect Shortbread


1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon rose water (optional)
1 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.. Prepare a 9-inch round or square cake pan (or shortbread mold) by greasing it with butter.

Cream butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and optional rose water. At low speed of mixer, begin adding flour slowly (mixture will be thick). Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and knead until thoroughly mixed. You should have a smooth, stiff dough. Press the dough into the prepared pan or shortbread mold, and prick entire surface with fork.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. It should be nice and golden. Cool for 10 minutes, then loosen edges with knife and invert pan onto cutting board. Shortbread may be coaxed out by tapping edge of pan.


cats said...

that's so funny - i just got married and registered at williams sonoma. those cookie cutters came with every package and i think i have a million of them. now i know what to do with them! thanks for the great recipe.

VeggieGirl said...

Stunning shortbread!

Nantucket Mermaid said...

I just purchased a cookie mold from the site "House on the Hill". It's a beautiful mermaid and I will try your recipe with it....alot more expensive than your finds, but it's made out of wood and can be displayed on the wall when not in use. A nice site to check out, anyway!

Soon, Then said...

Yum. I will be sharing this with my husband for sure. He is the baker in our family, and shortbread is one of his favorites!
You site is always so full of delicious things to make and beautiful pictures!

Ruby Khan said...

@cats: I was just about to leave the same comment! Except I think ours may have already made it to the Goodwill.

Nancy said...

Yum, I think I'll try this today! I wish I had some cute little molds though, haha.

jek-a-go-go said...

beautiful! you can also use the molds for butter or shaped sugar "cubes"....i was going to bake shortbread this morning but it got too hot!

Michelle said...

I'm new to this site, but just had to say that I recognized those molds - they were from Williams Sonoma. Good idea!

Anna said...

ha, I was googling "Williams Sonoma pineapple mold" because I was trying to figure out something to do with all of the ones that came with our wedding presents.

PLEASE post if you come up with any more ideas for them. I sense there are tons of recent brides out there like me who don't want to throw them away but are not sure what they could be used for.

Any THanksgiving ideas for them?

janed21 said...

I tried this last night and it's awesome! Thanks! I can't wait to make it again!