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Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, cool but not cold
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar, or 1-cup confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2-cup rice flour
2 egg yolks
1-tablespoon fleur de sel
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and beat again just until incorporated, about 2 minutes. In two additions, using a wooden spoon or the absolute lowest speed on your mixer, stir in 3 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour and all the rice flour, just until incorporated. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and stir just until combined. If the dough looks too wet, fold in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is uniform. Do not overwork it. Divide the dough into eight equal balls, then shape them into disks, wrap them in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Working with one piece of chilled dough at a time while leaving the others in the refrigerator, roll a disk into a slightly less than 1/2-inch round. Cut the round into wedges like a pizza.
Prick the top of the shortbread with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a bit of fleur de sel over the surface. Transfer the cookies to a prepared baking sheet. Bake the shortbread for 17 to 22 minutes, or until they just begin to brown.
Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before transferring the shortbreads to the rack to cool completely.
Shortbread will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 5 days.
Excerpted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2010 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.