31. Classic Shortbread
Beat 2 sticks butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Whisk 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir into the butter mixture. Press into a buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round tart pan. Score into wedges, strips, squares or diamonds with a fork, then chill 30 minutes. Bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees. Cool, then slice along the scored lines.
32. Oat-Walnut Thins
Make Classic Shortbread dough (No. 31) with just 1 cup flour. Add 1 cup ground oats and 3/4 cup finely ground walnuts with the flour. Divide between two 8-inch square pans, score and bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees. Cool and slice; drizzle with melted bittersweet chocolate.
33. Parmesan-Pepper Balls
Make Classic Shortbread dough (No. 31), adding 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 2 teaspoons pepper with the butter. Roll into tiny balls, then bake 8 to 12 minutes at 300 degrees F.
34. Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread
Make Classic Shortbread (No. 31). Slice into strips, then dip in melted bittersweet chocolate and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
35. Orange-Anise Squares
Make Classic Shortbread (No. 31), beating the seeds from 1 vanilla bean and 1/2 teaspoon crushed toasted anise seeds with the butter. Whisk 2 cups confectioners' sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice; spread over the finished shortbread and slice. Top with candied orange slices.
36. Walnut-Lavender Wedges
Make Classic Shortbread (No. 31), adding 3/4 cup finely ground walnuts with the flour. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender over the dough before baking. Slice into wedges.
37. Lemon Shortbread Squares
Make Classic Shortbread (No. 31), beating 1 teaspoon lemon zest with the butter. Mix 2 cups confectioners' sugar with the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Spread over the finished shortbread and sprinkle with yellow decorating sugar. Slice into squares.
38. Pecan Sandies
Make Classic Shortbread dough (No. 31), adding 3/4 cup ground pecans with the flour. Roll into two 1-inch-thick logs and chill 30 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and press a pecan into each. Brush the cookies with beaten egg and chill 30 minutes, then bake 12 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees.
39. Hazelnut Linzer Bars
Make Classic Shortbread dough (No. 31) with just 1 cup flour. Add 1 cup ground oats and 3/4 cup finely ground hazelnuts with the flour. Mix one-third of the dough with 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts; freeze tablespoonfuls in clumps for 30 minutes. Press the remaining dough into a buttered 8-inch square pan. Spread with raspberry preserves and top with the frozen clumps. Bake about 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
Photographs by Karl Juengel