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Break out the baking equipment! The holidays are around the corner and it’s time to get ready for the season of indulgence. You know a cookie exchange (or two!) is around the corner and we think there’s only one sweet treat you need — classic shortbread. To ensure you turn out a perfect batch every time, we asked pastry chef Rachelle Cadwell, co-owner of Toronto’s Beast restaurant and Dough Toronto, about what to keep in mind before you start mixing. She has three simple rules:

Always use butter

This is non-negotiable, unless you are vegan.

Don’t over-mix

“It’s called “short” bread because the butter and very little mixing prevents gluten from forming in the flour,” explains Cadwell. “You cream the sugar and butter together, but after you add the flour you just want to blend it a bit or it will get tough.”

Don’t over-bake

Cadwell admits this is a tricky to figure out initially, but important. Why? “If you over-bake the cookies, they get drier and won’t melt in your mouth.” And let’s be honest, no one likes a dry, crumbling cookie.

Ready to roll? Our collection of recipes starts with a traditional, three-ingredient version. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be baking up the other variations in no time.

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