This is a very simple and versatile dough. You can use it for cookies, or even for crusts for no-bake pies or cookie bars, I use it mostly for tarts and tartlets (fill this with pastry cream and put fresh strawberries on it and you’ve pretty much closed the deal on a date, ok maybe I exaggerate a little).
Why is it called a “short” dough? It has to do with the texture and structure of the final product. A short dough of any kind (think shortbread) is kind of brittle and crumbly. It’s not chewy. It has a high proportion of fat and sugar and little in the way of binding ingredients – like egg – to keep it intact once you bit into it. The other thing, with this recipe, is the use of cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. There’s a lower protein content in cake flour, so as you work it, it’s less likely to develop the gluten strands that give a loaf of bread its structure. So the finished product is light and brittle and melts in your mouth.
Notice that the ratio is 1:2:3, sugar, butter, and cake flour, by weight, well almost... this recipe calls for a little more sugar than most other recipes, but you can reduce it, especially if you plan to make something savoury for the filling.
There is also a little egg in the recipe, but it's not entirely necessary and it's not part of the main ratio. If you're using, say a half pound of sugar, then you only need about 3 ounces of egg...which is about an egg and a half.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Yield : 1.7 Lb
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a 20 quart mixer with paddle on low speed, 8-10 minutes
2. Slowly blend in eggs and vanilla, in 3 additions.
3. Sift dry ingredients together once only.
4. Blend in dry ingredients just enough to incorporate and make a smooth dough.
5. Chill dough until firm enough to roll out. Dough can be made in advance and store in the refrigerator.
6. Pre-bake either partially, bake at 350-375°F for 15-20 minutes until firm, but no colour or fully bake depending on need.