I used to bake a LOT of cookies. A LOT. I baked them for the holidays, for our kids’ lunchboxes, to send to Brett when he was deployed at sea, to have at home. However, with just Brett and I around to eat them these days, I rarely bake any more – we just don’t need the calories, and both of us can easily go through a batch of cookies in record time. However, I’ve recently started baking with our granddaughter and last week I thought these shortbread cookies would be easy and fun to make with her. I had everything we needed on hand, including a small amount of leftover chocolate chips.
This easy recipe comes from Sunset Magazine’s Favorite Recipes cookbook. I like this recipe it because it makes a very tasty, buttery cookie, and because it uses only four ingredients, ones that are almost always on hand in the pantry and refrigerator. The finished cookie is thin, and slightly almost like a cracker, but it melts in the mouth. Many years ago, this shortbread was my go-to recipe when the cupboards would be almost bare at the end of the month, but we enjoyed them so much that they became something I made fairly regularly. They always disappear quickly.
While the shortbread is delicious all on its own, it can be kicked up a notch with the addition a few chocolate chips, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Right after the pan of cookies comes out of the oven, immediately sprinkle the chips over the not, uncut cookies and let them set for around a minute or even less. The chips will become glossy and soft and can then be spread over the cookie as a thin frosting. Cut the shortbread as soon as they’re frosted; the chocolate will harden as the pan cools.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup softened butter or margarine (2 sticks)
2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine the four ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well-blended, but still somewhat crumbly. Press firmly and evenly into a lightly greased jelly roll (10″ x 15″) pan. The batter will be thin. Bake for 45 minutes, and then cut into squares or bars while still warm; let shortbread cool in the pan (I cannot stress this enough – trying to cut them when they’re cool creates a BIG, crumbly mess!).