1 cup butter, unsalted and softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Makes 4 dozen cookies.
In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy; gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Combine flour baking powder and salt then blend into butter mixture a little at a time.
Divide dough in half, shape each portion into a 10-inch log and wrap in wax or parchment paper, chill 8 hours; or freeze up to six weeks, thaw in refridgerator.
Cut each roll into 1/3 inch slices and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
Bake at for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, transfer to wire racks and cool completely
(Shortbread can be stored in airtight containers for up to two weeks.)
Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies: Microwave 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels in a glass bowl at HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie into chocolate. Place on wax paper to set.
Peanut Butter-and-Jelly Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1/2 cup peanut butter into dough after adding flour mixture. Make an indentation in center of each cookie slice before baking. Fill each indentation with 1/4 teaspoon jelly.
Chocolate-Mint Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1 (4.67-ounce) package chocolate mints, chopped, into dough after adding flour mixture. Proceed as directed.
Toffee Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1 cup almond brickle chips into dough after adding flour mixture. Proceed as directed.
Pecan-Crusted Shortbread Cookies: Coat 10-inch logs with 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans. Proceed as directed.
Red Cinnamon Candy Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1/2 cup red cinnamon candies into dough after adding flour mixture. Proceed as directed.
Snowman Shortbread Cookies: Chill dough 2 hours after adding flour mixture. Shape dough into 16 (3/4-inch) balls, 16 (1/2-inch) balls, and 16 (1/4-inch) balls. Use 1 ball of each size to make snowman shapes, leaving no space between balls. Bake as directed. For eyes, use black gel frosting after cookies cool, or press chocolate mini morsels onto warm cookies. Make scarves using red decorator frosting after cookies cool.
For an extra special treat I melt semi-sweet chocolate chips, dip the cooled shortbread in that then quickly in chopped pecans or toffee chips. Let dry.