Mom made these every Christmas and we loved them so much. No secret that we got caught with your hands in the cookie jar on more than one occasion! So buttery and delicious! When I worked as a corporate chef, come Christmas season I must have made thousands of them both for the dining room but for us and also family members. They store very well in a cool place. I make them entirely by hand, not using an electric mixer, the warmth from your hands seems to develop a really good texture. My husband thinks that shortbread and scotch are a match made in heaven!
Makes 3 ½ to 4 dozen (the recipe can easily be doubled)
1 lb. salted butter
4 cups unbleached flour
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the butter, using your hands; add the icing sugar, combining with your hands. Working in the flour until the dough becomes “putty” like (5 to 8 minutes). I use both hands to speed things up a bit, just don’t try and answer the phone! Form into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Roll out the dough using a rolling pin, to a 1/3rd to ½” thickness. Cut out using a cookie cutter (I use a 2” round cutter). You can sprinkle with a little coarse sugar before baking if you like. Place rounds on parchment lined, rimmed baking sheets.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they are very lightly coloured around the edges. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks.
Note: I have found that if I store the shortbread for a couple of days before eating, the flavour really develops.