Ever cook something for the first time and then wonder, “Why in the world haven’t I been making this all along!?” That’s how I feel about shortbread. For some reason, I’ve never made shortbread cookies until this year – but now, I’m completely hooked. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve quickly baked (and eaten) enough of these buttery, sweet, crumbly cookies to make up for all the years they’ve been missing from my kitchen.
For this recipe, there are five basic ingredients. That’s it – just five! And you most likely already have them in your pantry: butter, sugar, vanilla, flour and salt. I added orange zest and dried cranberries, but you can experiment with what you have readily available. Whip up a batch with chocolate chips, add your favorite spices (cardamom and clove are my current faves) or throw in different kinds of nuts. You can even get creative and try different cookie and beverage pairings – like a bold coffee with dark chocolate shortbread or rooibos tea alongside my cranberry version below.