Make this shortbread before you go to bed. That way you don't have to wait for the dough to chill, you can just sleep, where you can dream about shortbread cookies, and then wake, slice, and bake. And then eat, of course.
However, if you are impatient, just scoop and bake right away. They are still delicious, they just have a slightly different final texture and shape.
The slice and bake ones are handy dandy, though. You can slice and bake off a fresh, hot cookie any time you get a hankering. They're like semi-homemade. Sandra Lee would be proud. Except for the fact that they are 100% homemade with the ease of store-bought. You, my friend, just won the cookie lottery.
The Easiest Shortbread Recipe Ever.
1 stick of butter
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup of flour*
1/2 teaspoon salt
add-ins (optional): feel free to jazz it up with citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime), candied ginger, dried fruit, etc.
Mix the butter and sugar. Add the yolk. Add the salt and flour*. Mix until a dough forms. If it isn't forming nicely, go ahead and add the rest of the egg or a tablespoon of butter. Shape into a log, wrap (plastic wrap, wax paper, foil, whatever ya got) and place in the fridge to firm up (3 hours, minimum). Then slice and bake! If you like them firmer, cook them until golden. If you like them realllly soft like me, bake them until just set (about 10 minutes).
For immediate cooking, just scoop and bake in a 350 degree oven. The difference is that the cookie edges will be crispier and the whole cookie will have a slightly different texture and shape (since the butter in the dough isn't chilled and melts a lot quicker). Trust me; no one will notice or care.
*Cake flour makes these cookies really tender, which I like. However, all purpose works just fine. If you only have all purpose and you also have corn starch, you can basically make your own cake flour. I do. Just take 1 cup of all purpose flour and replace two of those tablespoons of flour for cornstarch.
I made lemon ones also. Just add some (1 tablespoon) zest in the beginning.
They look less stamped and more domed. And they still taste perfectly buttery. So who cares?
If you wanna jack up the lemon, throw some of this icing on top: fresh lemon juice + powdered sugar. Go easy on the lemon juice. You do NOT need much juice (a teaspoon or two) to make enough icing for the whole batch. To make it thicker than mine appears to be, add more powdered sugar/use less lemon and cool the cookies fully first before icing them.
Have your bro make you a strawberry smoothie to go with it (complete with fresh lemon juice).