- Prep time
- 15 minutes PT15M
- Cook time
- 10–12 minutes PT12M
- 12–16 cookies
These irresistible traditional, buttery shortbreads can be made with your choice of vanilla or lemon flavoring.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 cup flour, plus more for rolling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and salt. For vanilla-flavored cookies, mix in the vanilla; for lemon-flavored cookies, add the lemon zest.
Add the flour and mix by hand until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix—the dough will still be crumbly. Turn dough out onto a work surface, press together, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
To roll out cookies, place chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, then use your fingers to press dough into a disk about ¾ inch thick. Press the edges back together with the palm of your hand, as they may begin to crumble, then use a rolling pin to roll dough to ¼–½ inch thick. Using a circle cutter, cut out 2½-inch rounds. (Scraps can be re-rolled, but will not be quite as flaky as the first roll.)
Carefully place the cookies on a lined baking sheet. If cookies stick to the board, slide a palette or thin-bladed knife underneath to help release them and transfer to the cookie sheet. Bake cookies for 10–12 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to show signs of browning. Let cool completely before handling.