Aside from my introduction of ginger, this is a classic shortbread recipe. Because the flavors of butter and ginger are so unadulterated, shortbread is the ideal opportunity to exploit the taste of a fine unsalted European-style butter. The same is true of the ginger. Ground ginger ages rapidly, turning musty after a few months. Buy a small amount of freshly ground ginger at a whole-foods market for a bright sharp flavor. Shortbread will keep for 4 to 5 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature and up to a month if frozen.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) high-quality unsalted butter, at cool room temperature (about 65°F)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl with the sugar, ginger, and salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour until just combined. The dough will be quite stiff.
3. Press the dough into a 10-inch pie plate and smooth the top. Using the tines of a fork, prick a pattern into the dough, dividing the shortbread into 8 wedges.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the shortbread comes out clean and the shortbread is firm and lightly golden. While still warm, cut the wedges. Allow to cool.