Celebrating Modern Jewish Living Through Food, Tradition, and Family
Aaron’s shortbread cookies are melt-in-your-mouth buttery classics, that take minutes to make and look beautiful as holiday gifts tied with a festive bow.
The Backstory: I cannot count the number of times I’ve made these buttery shortbread cookies. A million years ago (at least it feels that way), I had a boyfriend named Aaron who truly looked and dressed like he walked off the cover of a Brooks Brothers catalog. No lie. I’m not sure how he pulled that off since he was a nice Jewish boy from Akron, Ohio. One of my aunts (who shall remain nameless), actually asked me once if I worried that he would find someone else and dump me. Not exactly a confidence builder, but I could see where she was coming from. He just had one of those faces. More of the Backstory after the recipe…
Aaron's Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat flour, butter, Confectioner's sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla until well-combined, occasionally scraping down the bowl.
Pat the dough into a 9-inch round ungreased cake pan. With a fork, prick the batter all over.
Sprinkle the sugar over the cookie batter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove pan from oven. While still warm, cut cookies into 12-14 wedges. Cool on wire rack and separate the cookies.
…The Backstory continues: In any case, this Waspy-looking Jew loved all things Waspy, even though he had deep pride in his Jewish heritage. Nonetheless, he drove a Volvo, wore bow-ties with said Brooks Brothers suits, and had this cool, polished air about him. He also loved English shortbread cookies. Naturally.
One weekend during a visit to his parents’ home in Akron, his mother gave me a recipe for these cookies. “They’re from one of my Sisterhood members,” she told me. “He doesn’t need to know.”
He never did.
Sadly, Aaron passed away at a very young age. I think of him often and and literally catch my breath whenever The English Patient is on TV. He is a dead ringer for Ralph Fiennes in that film. And I always think of him when I make these cookies for my kids.