I’ve been in search of a shortbread cookie recipe that I can actually say reminds me of Panera Bread’s. Will this be the one?
I did modify Kari’s recipe slightly by adding 1/2 teaspoon more of vanilla extract than her recipe called for, along with a dash of salt. And since I didn’t have cake flour I used (sifted) all-purpose flour. I also sifted the confectionery sugar the recipe called for. Kari’s recipe is very close to a recipe I also found in The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. Good Housekeeping’s recipe calls for 1/4 cup less sugar, and the addition of 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Since this recipe was so simple to make I mixed my batch by hand. I originally wanted to roll the dough out and use cookie cutters but once everything was mixed I realized that wasn’t going to happen; the dough was quite sticky. So instead, I spread the dough out into an ungreased cookie sheet. (I didn’t use the whole pan since I wanted a thicker cookie.) I started at one end of the pan and spread the dough out to a point that suited me. I used a piece of plastic wrap to smooth the top of the dough – no sticky fingers that way. Lastly, I generously pricked the top of the dough full of wholes with a fork prior to baking.
The dough rose perfectly while baking and I used my pizza cutter to cut the bars immediately after taking them out of the oven. To finish them off I drizzled a thin buttercream icing on top.
These cookies are very good, the texture is nice, they are buttery rich as expected, and they turned out beautiful. There is no doubt they go down easy and I certainly would encourage anyone who likes shortbread cookies to make a batch, or two.
Maybe the cake flour is the secret? Or maybe my taste buds are playing tricks on me but I didn’t taste Panera shortbreads in this recipe. That’s okay though. These cookies are still very good and I will make them again.
To see how this quest started, and if you like sugar cookies, see my post Have a heart – cookie that is…
I’d love to hear from anyone who tries this recipe. Come on, chime in!