These cookies are a legend in my mom’s side of the family. My mom is one of 5 children. She grew up in Hawaii and her and her two sisters went to public school there. Every Friday, the three of them would buy a shortbread cookie for a nickel and wrap the buttery cookie in wax paper to bring home to eat. For over 30 years, the three of them (who are all great chefs and bakers) have tried to recreate the magical recipe. And this past weekend, the recipe was published by a former Hawaiian public school cafeteria worker who said these cookies were baked nearly every day and kept in 5-gallon tins.
My mom and my two Aunts all experimented with the recipe to make sure they taste exactly how they remembered. And this recipe gets it just right. The hint to these cookies is the salted butter. Don’t use unsalted and don’t use fancy Irish butter, just regular salted butter from the grocery store. And the longer they sit after baking, the better they taste since the flavors have time to meld together. The cookies are rich, so we cut them small to get 2 dozen, but the size is totally up to you. The key to storing these pups is to always keep them in a tin with some parchment paper (it keeps them crispy as well as moist).
The cookies are buttery, just the perfect amount of sweet and highly addictive. We’ve had three different batches in our house this past week for tasting purposes and none of us can stop eating them. They taste delicious with a cup of tea or coffee. This is one of those recipes that I want to pass on to my children and them to theirs. Enjoy!
4-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Makes 2 dozen (cut small)
The key to this recipe is the butter. Don’t go fancy, just regular ol’ salted butter. Keep the cookies stored in a tin container with parchment paper to keep them nice and fresh.
- 2 sticks salted butter (1 cup total), room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/3 cup sifted flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Grease a 9-inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a stand-mixer, cream the butter (about 3-5 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
- By hand, gradually mix in the flour and salt until well combined and crumbly.
- Press the mixture evenly into a baking pan. Prick the top with a fork.
- Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool slightly, then cut into bars or triangles.
Recipe adapted from the Honolulu Star Advertiser.