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Irresistible Bite-Sized Shortbread: A Simple Delight

Hey there, fellow foodies! Today, we're diving into the world of simple yet utterly delightful bite-sized shortbread. These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth treats are perfect for any occasion, from afternoon tea to dessert at your next gathering. Let's get right into the details of making these delectable goodies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Instructions:

1. Prepare Your Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). While your oven is heating up, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Cream the Butter and Sugar:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the room-temperature butter and granulated sugar. If you want an extra layer of flavor, add the vanilla extract at this stage. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the mixture until it's light and fluffy. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the Dry Ingredients:

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; you want your shortbread to be tender, not tough.

4. Shape the Shortbread:

  • Take a small amount of dough, about a teaspoonful, and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet and gently flatten it with the tines of a fork. This creates the classic shortbread pattern.

5. Bake to Perfection:

  • Bake your shortbread in the preheated oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Keep a close eye on them, as they can go from perfect to overbaked quickly.

6. Cool and Dust (Optional):

  • Once out of the oven, let the shortbread cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. If you like, dust them lightly with powdered sugar for a beautiful finish.

7. Enjoy Your Delightful Treats:

  • Transfer your bite-sized shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely. Then, it's time to indulge! These treats pair wonderfully with a hot cup of tea or coffee, or you can simply savor them on their own.

Tips:

  • You can get creative with your shortbread by adding ingredients like lemon zest, chopped nuts, or even a drizzle of chocolate after baking.
  • Store your shortbread in an airtight container to keep them fresh. They also make great homemade gifts!

And there you have it – a simple yet divine recipe for bite-sized shortbread. It's amazing how a few basic ingredients can transform into such a delightful treat. So, what are you waiting for? Get baking and enjoy these melt-in-your-mouth bites of heaven! Happy baking!

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