Vermont Maple Shortbread
Maple is practically synonymous with Vermont, and as good Vermonters, we like
to make sure we have an ample stash of recipes using every form of it. This
shortbread is a great alternative to its traditional vanilla counterpart. With
its bold flavor (from both maple sugar and syrup), any maple lover is sure to
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons, 227g) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, 65°F to 68°F
- 3/4 cup (117g) pure maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon maple flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
- 2 1/2 cups (298g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (113g) chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
- Scant 2 tablespoons (28g) maple syrup
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt a tablespoon of butter and
brush it onto the bottom and sides of a shortbread pan. Alternatively
rub soft butter onto the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round pan.
- Beat together the remaining 15 tablespoons butter, maple sugar,
salt, and flavors until well blended.
- Weigh flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then
sweeping off any excess. Mix in the flour to form a smooth, cohesive
dough. The dough will be crumbly at first, but will come together as it's mixed.
- Fold in the chopped nuts.
- Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic and set aside.
Press the second half into the prepared pan.
- Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to
escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes.
- Bake the shortbread for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface is a
light golden brown, and the edges are a darker golden brown.
- Remove the shortbread from the oven, and immediately turn it out
onto a clean work surface. Gently brush the shortbread with the maple
syrup (you want to be careful not to brush away the pattern if you used a shortbread pan).
- Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the shortbread while still
warm into 8 equal wedges and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- Repeat the bake with the remaining half of dough.
- Store the shortbread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several
days; freeze for longer storage.
Recipe and photo credit (used with permission): King Arthur Flour
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