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Our mom made these every Christmas, we loved them. Talk about getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar! So buttery and delicious! When I worked as a chef, I must have made thousands for work, us & family every Christmas season. They store very well in a cool place. They are made entirely by hand, not using an electric mixer, the warmth from your hands just seems to develop a really good texture. My husband thinks that shortbread and scotch are a match made in heaven!
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 & 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 answer the phone! Form into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap & 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 do mine in 2” rounds). 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.
I have found that if I store the shortbread for a couple of days before eating, the flavour really develops.