As much as we love a good shortbread cookie (and we do), the three variations on the basic recipe are so mind-bogglingly delicious that you'll simply have to try them all.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (don't even think about using margarine)
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the icing sugar until well blended. Add the flour and salt, and blend into a smooth dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (If you want to keep the dough longer than that, just remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to begin baking.)
By hand, roll the dough into 1 in. (2 cm) balls, place them on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten very slightly (to about 1/2-in./1 cm thickness) with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in flour to prevent sticking(or use a cookie stamp for a fancier effect). Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until very lightly browned on the bottom.
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