Simple pleasure. That's what this is. A buttery little bite that's crunchy and crumbly. I use it in Banana Pudding, but it's delicious on its own too. My shortcut to shortbread? Pack the dough into a resealable plastic bag. No messy rolling or gaping holes in a dough log. Pressing the dough into the bag makes a nice even layer that's easy to store and cut.
Total: 2 hr 10 min(includes chilling and cooling times)
Active: 20 min
Yield:About 5 dozen cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Whisk the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated.
Reduce the speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Beat, scraping the bowl occasionally, until the dough comes together in large clumps.
Transfer the dough to a gallon-size resealable plastic freezer bag and press into a 1-inch thick, 9 by 5-inch rectangle. The bag is 9 inches wide, so you're pressing the dough to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the dough into thirds to form rectangular logs that are 3 inches wide. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1/2 inch apart.
Bake one sheet at a time until the edges are browned and the tops are golden, 14 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely on the sheets on wire racks. The shortbread keeps at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.