Did you get invited to a potluck for the 4th of July?  Do you need to whip up something quickly to bring? Never fear!  Here’s a quick dessert you can make that’s tasty, flavorful, and really easy.  It’s based on a recent recipe from the New York Times of customizable shortbread:  there’s one basic recipe and then nine variations.  We decided to combine two of their suggestions into one shortbread, and it turned out pretty good!

Here’s what we used:

  • Flour
  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • A vanilla bean

Start by placing 2 cups of flour, 1/3 cup of white sugar and 1/3 cup of brown sugar into a food processor and mixing them together.  Then take your chilled butter, cut it up into slices, and add that in too.


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Next, take your vanilla bean pod and carefully cut it in half.


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Use the knife to scrape out the beans inside …




… and add those in to the flour-butter mixture.




Then use two knives to mix everything together to form a dough.


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You should eventually have a moist yet crumbly dough, like this:




Press an even layer of dough into a square baking pan, then prick it all over with a fork.


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Bake your shortbread at 325°F for 35-40 if you have a 9-inch baking pan or 45-50 minutes for an 8-inch pan, and take it out of the oven once it’s lightly brown on top.  Then you can slice it up into bars.


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And it’s a delicious alternative to the usual cakes and brownies that people bring to celebrations.




As you can see, this shortbread is super easy to make.  From only five ingredients you get a sweet, buttery treat that mixes the flavors of vanilla and brown sugar and is sure to impress everyone.  So potluckers, don’t despair!  Make this shortbread and enjoy your holiday!