Debbi's Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon almond extract or pure vanilla extract
- 2 Baking sheets
- Baking parchment
- 2-inch cookie cutters
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
With a pastry cutter cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is evenly distributed and the size of small crumbs. Stir in the almond extract – vanilla works just as well – and mix the dough, shaping it with your hands, until it comes together to form a ball that is still slightly moist.
Transfer your dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it out until its 3/8 inches thick. Dip your favorite cookie cutter into flour and cut out shapes, transferring them to a cookie sheet and reflouring the cutter as needed. Cover the cookies with plastic wrap and chill them on the cookie sheet for 30 to 45 minutes.
While the cookies chill, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line another cookie sheet with baking parchment and arrange the cookies on it, leaving about I inch between.
Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden around the edges. Remove the cookies with a spatula to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight tins in layers separated by baking parchment or wax paper, or stack them in reclosable bags. The cookies can also be frozen, wrapped first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil.