Quick Cookies for Ice Cream: Brown Sugar Shortbread
Forget the Oreos. The Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies I'm offering up today are much better with ice cream. The shortbread cookies also are phenomenal on their own. They're quick to make, require few ingredients, and, best of all, are crunchy on the edges with a slightly chewy texture in the center. Think caramel with an attitude. You don't even need any sea salt, which apparently is "all the rage" except with cardiologists and dieticians, to top the cookies--only a bit of raw or turbinado sugar. I bake the cookies in a tart pan with a removable bottom, which facilitates getting the cookies thin and helps me avoid rolling out the dough. If you like rolling dough and cutting out cookies, feel free to do so. You'll want to roll the dough about 1/4-inch thin. Either way, the cookies are good. As they bake, your home will be filled with the incredible aroma of caramelizing brown sugar and rich butter. You'll be tempted to eat the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. Resist the temptation. The cookies need to cool before you remove them from their pan. Nonetheless, the wait will be worth it. Enjoy!
Brown Sugar Shortbread -- Makes 8-12
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of flour
3-4 tablespoons of turbinado/raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a tart pan (9-10-inches round) with a removable bottom with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat together until creamy and smooth the butter, salt, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour and beat it into the butter mixture until it's completely incorporated. Pat the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with your fingers to insure it's even. Sprinkle on the turbinado sugar, pressing it into the dough a little. Score the shortbread with a sharp knife into 8-12 wedges. Bake the dough for about 12 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, and re-score the wedges. Return the pan to the oven for a few minutes more or until the dough is golden brown and bubbly. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit a few minutes before again scoring wedges. Let the baked pan sit for 10 minutes and score the wedges again. Remove the wedges from the cooled pan and store them in an airtight container.