This recipe guarantees the perfect batch of shortbread every time.
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Step 1: Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350ºF.
Step 2: Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Reduce speed to low, then add flour and mix until combined.
Step 4: Divide dough in half. Using your hands, form each half into a log 2" in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm (at least 20 minutes).
Step 5: To bake, unwrap the dough and slice vertically creating cookie rounds approx. 1/2" in thickness.
Step 6: Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet arranging about 1/2" apart. Bake on middle oven rack for 14-16 minutes.
Step 7: Cool cookies on cookies sheets on racks for 5 minutes, then transfer with a spatula (to prevent cookies from breaking while still soft) to racks to cool completely.