I love this shortbread recipe and use it shamelessly whenever I can. Every Christmas my mom would bring out special cookie cutters. The ones she used for shortbread. The mystery still remains why they were shaped like playing card suits and; how”spades” and “diamonds” scream Christmas I never thought to ask
perhaps I should have
She rolled the dough out thicker than usual, slightly underbaked them and half-dipped them in chocolate. They are perfect that way and are still my favorite way of eating them
They are also delightful rolled a bit thinner and baked a bit longer. When glazed with ivory tinted royal icing, and flavored with a bit of almond they are the best accompaniment to your morning cuppa.
1 cup butter–room temperature
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Beat sugar and butter until completely mixed together, but not light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt and mix until just incorporated. Slowly stir in flour and only mix until just incorporated. Divide dough in 2 portions, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. When ready to bake, roll out and bake on parchment paper. Top with sprinkles or leave plain and bake at 325 until just starting to brown on the bottom. Once cooled you can dip in tempered chocolate or glaze with royal icing (alton brown recipe here), flavored as you choose.
Just a simple tip: I glaze the cookies using a pastry bag and let them dry. I then dip a small paintbrush in a bit of Everclear or vodka (or you can use extract) and gently swipe it across the top. I then immediately sprinkle the sugar on top. the liquid will evaporate almost immediately–but it will allow your sugar to stick without sinking into the icing.