I am one of those people that go to an ice cream store offering dozens of flavors and I will usually choose vanilla. I can't help it, I love vanilla and I love simple, pure, traditional foods.
So it is that I had to try my hand at baking the most simple, pure, and basic of cookies: the Shortbread cookie (also known as Scottish shortbread cookie, or biscuit, thus satisfying my ancestral heritage as well!)
Aside from a no-bake cookie, it just doesn't get any easier than this, and the ingredients are pantry staples you are almost sure to have around.
1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter (preferably organic)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted through a seive.
Blend together all ingredients except the flour until it is smooth. Then sift in the flour, mixing continually until a loose smooth dough is formed.
Transfer the dough on to a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchemnt paper or a silicone baking mat. Using your hands, form it into a 10 by 5 inch rectangle.
Take a butter knife and score the top of the dough into six evenly spaced 2 inch rectangles. Then score each rectangle with a diagonal line. (This is so you can cut twelve long skinny triangle shaped cookies out of the dough after it has baked. )
Your dough marks will look like this:
Then take a fork and gently poke little indentations into the top of the dough.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and gently cut the cookies into individual sections along the score marks with a long sharp knife.
These are delicate and lovely cookies, not overpoweringly sweet, but soul cheering. Perfect for that cup of tea or coffee. These can be dressed up with a little chocolate sauce or jam, but I usually eat them plain. They will vanish all the same.