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.