Bouchon Bakery Shortbread Cookies

One of life’s simplest pleasure is a hot cup of tea and a cookie. It is the perfect remedy after a long day, a great pick-me-up when you’re feeling sick, and a nice treat when you just want to be a little fancy.

One of the best birthday gifts I ever got Bryan (the ultimate tea lover), was a reservation at the Ritz Carlton Central Park for their afternoon tea. It was two hours of endless finger sandwiches, macaroons, and a bottomless pot of tea. Total bliss.

Since I’m not a Kardashian and can’t swing a Ritz-level tea hour every weekend, Bryan and I do our best to improvise and have our own tea-time traditions that include some kick-butt Early Grey that I got him on my last trip to London, and Bouchon Bakery’s Shortbread cookies.

These cookies, while they take a bit of time, are the perfect treat to keep in the house. They are super rich with just the perfect amount of sweetness, making them a great side for both tea and coffee. They are also a perfect cookie to give as a gift or to put out when you have company.

These cookies will help you channel your inner-Kate Middleton and host the perfect high tea.

XoXo,
Elizabeth

Bouchon Bakery Shortbread Cookies

Before you jump in, I cannot express enough how important it is to use a scale for this recipe. The ration of butter/flour/sugar is very important to make sure the dough is pliable enough to roll out. I’ve made this recipe with a scale and without, and the difference the scale made in the texture and richness of the cookie is priceless. You don’t need to go crazy, I have this scale, which is small enough to get tucked into my overstuffed apartment cabinets and cost less than what I usually spend at Starbucks each week. Trust me, it is more than worth it.

So, with your trusty scale ready to go…

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter with the paddle attachment on medium low speed until smooth.
Add the sugar and salt and mix on medium low for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds. Add half of the flour, and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the second half of the flour.

Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter, and mound the dough on top of it. Form the dough into a 5 inch by 5 inch block. Wrap it with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpats.

Unwrap the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right to flatten it. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Continue to do this until dough begins to flatten, and then roll the dough out to a 9 inch by 9 inch square. If the dough has softened (i.e. if it is no longer cold to the touch), slide onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for another 20 minutes or until has firmed up.

With a sharp knife, and using a ruler, score the dough horizontally 3 times to mark four 2 1/4-inch-wide strips. Then score it vertically five times at 1 1/2-inch intervals (for a total for 24 sections). Cut through the markings.

Sprinkle the dough with granulated sugar and arrange on the prepared sheet pans, leaving about an inch in between each cookie. Bake until pale golden brown, 13-15 minutes in a convention oven or 17-19 minutes in a standard oven. Be sure to switch pans 1/2 way through baking.

Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The shortbread can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Bouchon Bakery Shortbread Cookies
Yields 24
No tea time would be complete without these rich, buttery shortbread cookies
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Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
3 hr
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 180 grams (6.3 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 90 grams (1/2 C) granulated sugar
  3. 2 grams (5/8 tsp) Kosher salt
  4. 5.9 grams (1 tsp) vanilla bean paste
  5. 270 grams (1 3/4 C plus 3 T) all purpose flour
  6. 2 tablespoons granualted sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter with the paddle attachment on medium low speed until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar and salt and mix on medium low for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.
  4. Add half of the flour, and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the second half of the flour.
  5. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter, and mound the dough on top of it. Form the dough into a 5 inch by 5 inch block. Wrap it with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
  6. When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpats.
  7. Unwrap the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right to flatten it. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Continue to do this until dough begins to flatten, and then roll the dough out to a 9 inch by 9 inch square. If the dough has softened (i.e. if it is no longer cold to the touch), slide onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for another 20 minutes or until has firmed up.
  8. With a sharp knife, and using a ruler, score the dough horizontally 3 times to mark four 2 1/4-inch-wide strips. Then score it vertically five times at 1 1/2-inch intervals (for a total for 24 sections). Cut through the markings.
  9. Sprinkle the dough with granulated sugar and arrange on the prepared sheet pans, leaving about an inch in between each cookie. Bake until pale golden brown, 13-15 minutes in a convention oven or 17-19 minutes in a standard oven. Be sure to switch pans 1/2 way through baking.
  10. Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. The shortbread can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days.
Notes
  1. For a fun variation, try adding a little nutmeg to the dough and using granulated brown sugar for dusting!
Adapted from Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)
Adapted from Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/

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