Tartine--the dessert book--is an essential cookbook for any baker. I've made almost all of the recipes in this book at one time or another and they are without fail always delicious. Although I didn't photograph them at the time, I use these recipes so much, I have no doubt that this section will be populated with photos in no time.
To create the classic melt-in-your-mouth texture of shortbread, set out your butter ahead of time in a large bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the flour, cornstarch, and tonka bean in a separate bowl. Once the butter is soft enough to easily whip using a whisk, add the salt and whip it to a smooth consistency. Then, mix in the sugar until smooth. And finally, slowly mix in the sifted flour combination a little at a time until it forms a smooth dough.
Butter a 9 x 13 in. baking pan and use your hands to knead the dough a little before transferring it to the pan. Distribute the dough evenly across the pan and use a toothpick to poke holes across the dough.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes. When ready, the shortbread will appear lightly browned on the top and edges. Once removed from the oven, allow it to cool for a couple minutes and then cut it into squares or wedges. (It's best to cut the cookies before they have cooled completely.)
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