By late this morning, I still had no idea what recipe I would post next. This doesn't usually happen to me, we cook so often and food is a very big part of our life. I've just been in a slump. But then I remembered that I list upcoming National Food Holidays on my sidebar (here is where I find them), in case of just such a slump. Sometimes that is no help at all, like when I see that it is National Roast Suckling Pig Day (Dec. 18) or National Escargot Day (May 24), or something equally out of my comfort level. But today I had a winner - it's National Shortbread Day!
So here's the simplest, easiest recipe for shortbread that I could find on allrecipes.com. Only three ingredients, and it turned out fantastic!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter (People will tell you not to substitute margarine, that you have to use real butter or it doesn't work. Don't believe a word of it! I used margarine and it worked just fine!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (many reviewers said 300, so I did that instead).
Blend all ingredients well. Dough will be stiff. It's funner if you use your hands and knead it really well.
Press into a buttered 9x9-inch pan (I used a shortening-ed 8x8-inch pan). Prick top with fork.
Bake until pale golden brown on the edges. 30 minutes at 300 seems to be a good baking time according to the reviews, though since I used a smaller pan I had to leave it in a little longer. Just keep a close eye on it, and take it out when it's lightly golden on the edges.
Cool completely before cutting into squares. Several reviewers said you can sprinkle it with sugar while cooling, so I did that; it makes it even prettier. It's very important to let it cool completely before you cut it into squares, or it will be too crumbly.
This is the first time I've made shortbread. I really love a good shortbread, with its light buttery flavor and unique texture, and this recipe didn't disappoint.
Sigh. It's nice to be out of the slump. Thank you, American National Food Holidays! :-)