Why This Recipe Works
To produce a worthwhile version of a shortbread recipe, we found that “reverse creaming” (mixing the flour and sugar together before adding the butter) contributed crumbly texture. Cutting back on the butter gave us good butter flavor without greasiness. Adding ground oats and cornstarch to the dough cut down on gluten development and gave us tender cookies. And baking the cookies briefly before turning off the heat and letting them dry in the still-warm oven made our shortbread recipe perfectly crisp.