- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners' or granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-inch round cake or springform pan. Sift together flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, cream butter until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar, and continue to beat until very light in color and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes more. Add flour mixture, and beat on low, scraping bowl if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.
- Pat dough into prepared pan. Use a paring knife to score dough into wedges; prick all over in even intervals with a wooden skewer or fork.
- Bake until firm in the center and just starting to color, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cut into wedges. Cookies will keep, in an airtight container, at room temperature 3 weeks.
The dough (and its variations) can be prepared and refrigerated overnight or frozen up to three months, covered tightly with plastic wrap; thaw frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before using. The baking time for each variety of shortbread will vary depending on the kind of pan and cutters used.