No rolling required! The plain version is delicious and buttery; or fancy it up with one of the variations below.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp cake and pastry flour
In a bowl, beat butter until smooth, then beat in sugar and salt until well mixed. Stir in flour in three additions, beating just until mixed between each.
Turn mixture into a lightly greased 8 in (2 L) square baking pan and, using flour-dusted fingers, press to an even thickness to fill pan. Using a fork, pierce dough every few inches. Generously sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake in preheated 325°F (160°C) oven until golden around edges, about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife around the edges to loosen, and cut into squares. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then store in an airtight container, in a cool place, for up to 1 week. To make ahead: Bake cookies, cool fully and freeze up to 1 month.
Chocolate Citrus Shortbread Variation: Stir 1 cup (250 mL) mini chocolate chips and 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange or lemon zest into dough with the last addition of flour.
Savoury Cran-Rosemary Shortbread Variation: Stir 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) chopped dried cranberries into dough with the last addition of flour. Replace coarse sugar with small sprigs of fresh rosemary randomly pressed into dough before baking.
Makes 16 squares.
In 1 square: 134 calories, 1 g protein, 9 g fat, 13 g carbs, 11 mcg folate, 1 mg iron
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