Brown your butter: In a medium pan or fry pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and some toasted speckles will appear. As quickly as they do, get rid of the pan from the burner; the recurring heat will suffice to toast the remainder of the butter to a deep golden brown. Put butter and all the cozy flecks into a medium bowl, include water and stir to integrate, then move to the freezer.

Chill the browned butter: We wish to freeze the butter up until it’s strong throughout however trust me, this speeds it up: Freeze the butter in the bowl for thirty minutes then provide it a complete stir, scraping down the sides, blending the still melted parts in the center over the strengthened pieces. Go back to the freezer for another thirty minutes– it must now be absolutely strong throughout. Cut it into pieces, right in the bowl. No requirement to make them even.

Heat your oven: To 300 ° F. Line an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper that extends up 2 sides. There is no requirement to grease it.

Make the shortbread dough one of 2 methods:

  • In a stand mixer with the paddle accessory: Beat browned butter pieces, brown sugar, and salt together, scraping regularly, up until equally combined. Include vanilla and flour, and blend simply up until integrated, scraping down the bowl once again. This is the exact same order when it comes to a hand mixer, however with a hand mixer, you’ll require the butter warmed to semi-soft initially.
  • In a food mill: Integrate brown sugar, salt, and flour in the work bowl, pulsing a couple of times. Include cold browned butter pieces and vanilla and pulse a number of times to slice the butter down into even smaller sized pieces. Then, run the device up until it is completely included and comes together in a smooth mass, 1 to 2 minutes more, scraping down as required for even blending.
  • Both approaches: Transfer shortbread dough to ready baking pan and your fingers to push it into an even, flat layer, then utilize a balanced out spatula to smooth the top.

    Bake the shortbread: For thirty minutes– it will not be completely baked yet– and get rid of from the oven simply enough time to form the shortbread.

    To produce the diamond shape revealed, utilize the back of a paring knife (yes, the dull side) or a bench scraper to make light line imprints hardly 1/4-inch into the shortbread, about 1-inch apart. Then, at about a 45-degree angle from the very first lines, make staying imprints 1.5 inches apart. [Note: I absolutely never measure and it’s more intuitive than it sounds when you read the above.] Utilize a really thin, sharp paring knife (this is my go-to) to cut along these lines to the bottom of the pan. Utilize the back of a wood skewer (the dull end) to dock the shortbread anywhere it matches you (it’s for visual appeals) about 1/3 of the method into the cookie.

    Complete baking: Return the shortbread to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, or up until more deeply golden at the edges. Let cool in the pan, or, if you’re restless, let them cool for 10 minutes, and after that eliminate them, utilizing among the extended sides of the parchment paper lining the pan to make it simpler. Let shortbread cool entirely, then separate the shortbread where they were cut. If required, utilize your paring knife once again to make tidy separations.

    Squiggle with icing (optional): Area shortbread equally out on a rack and location over a tray to capture drips. Location powdered sugar in a little bowl and include 1 tablespoon lemon juice, blending to integrate. We’re trying to find a thick however drizzle-able consistency. Include all or part of staying 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice if required to attain it. Transfer icing to a sandwich bag and snip a little bit of the corner off and sprinkle the icing over the shortbread. Let set for one hour at space temperature level.

    Do ahead: Shortbread keeps for 1 week, if not longer, at space temperature level. It freezes well too, simply cover it tight, and do not squiggle with icing up until thawed.