Meet summer's perfect shortbread. I call them sugar cone shortbread, because, you guessed it, they're made out of sugar cones. They're rich, buttery, salty-sweet, toasty, and delightfully crumbly, with the flavor of the sugar cones front and center. And they couldn't be simpler to make: Use cold butter straight from the fridge, crush the sugar cones and make the dough in the bowl of a food processor, then press it directly into a sheet pan (no logs to form, chill, and slice; no rolling required). By scoring the shapes of the cookies with a knife before baking, they’re a cinch to cut and remove from the pan when they’re done.
You can enjoy them straight out of hand, but my favorite way to go? An open-faced ice cream sandwich, served in a dish. They’re so easy to make and and provide so many possibilities for toppings: hot fudge, sprinkles, chopped nuts, fresh berries, you name it.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9 pan (or quarter sheet pan).
Break the sugar cones into pieces with your hands and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt and pulse several times until well integrated. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly (about 15 to 20 seconds). Scrape down the sides and stir a few times, if needed. Add the vanilla extract, and pulse again until large, damp clumps start to form, about 10 to 15 seconds longer.
Turn the dough out into the prepared pan, kneading it a few times if still crumbly. Using a flat-bottomed glass, measuring cup, or your hands, press the dough to form an even layer.
Score the dough lightly with a knife, marking 4 rows by 6 rows to form 24 2-inch shortbread squares. Dock each bar once or twice with a fork. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the dough.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until shortbread is lightly browned all over and firm to the touch.
When done, remove pan from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. While the shortbread is still hot, use a knife to fully cut the shortbread along the lines you scored prior to baking. Allow shortbread to cool completely in the pan. Once cool, the shortbread bars will break apart very easily. Store in an airtight container. They'll keep well for about 2 weeks.