I thought I would share a recipe tonight. I have had it for a while and it is not my own. I have long since forgotten where I got it. I have a collection of cookbooks which I have poured over for many years and when I foundd something interesting I filed favorites on the computer without identifying where they came from. Thankfully I am more organized now - alas this is not one I identified. I make these for the afternoon teas I prepare at work. It is one of the best shortbread recipes I have ever tried and they don't last long at home or at work.
3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt; then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and roll shape into a flat disk.
Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut out with a three-inch or thereabouts cookie cutter. Place them on an ungreased sheet pan and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
You can make the dough and cut the cookies out a day before you bake them. I have also used a whole variety of themed cookie cutters, depending on the season. In the picture these are just round ones but I have other cute shapes I like to use.