Shortbread is made from a few basic ingredients, and the results are sensational. The key to success with this thick shortbread is baking it slowly so that it doesn't brown.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
Roll dough to 1/2" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 2 1/2" round cutter or Christmas cookie cutter. Place 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 275° for 50 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Note: Unbleached flour is the best-quality, freshest flour for baking and is particularly good in simple recipes like shortbread. Other kinds of all-purpose flour work fine in this recipe, too.
Christmas with Southern Living 2002
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