- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 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 with the paddle attachment, 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 shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3-inch star-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased sheet pan and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
**Made 28 3-inch cookies**
NOTE: The edges of the shortbread are ever so slightly sharper if you chill the cookies before baking them. If the dough is at room temperature the cookies will spread slightly and they'll lose their shape. You can also cut out the cookies days ahead and bake them the day you serve them, just keep them flat on a cookie sheet and make sure they're well covered.
I used Sugar In The Raw for sprinkling on the cookies because it doesn't melt as fast as granulated sugar and because I wanted coarse glittery sugar crystals on the cookies. Granulated sugar works just as well.