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Simple Scottish Shortbread

 Simple Scottish Shortbread
Shortbread is a wonderful starting point for all kinds of sweet adventures: top it (nuts, chocolate, jam); flavor it (lemon, hazelnut, coconut); or do both (cappuccino with a mocha ganache drizzle, anyone?) Then again, if you're a "make mine vanilla, please" kind of guy or gal, leave it alone: it can stand on its own in perfect simplicity.—Taste of Home Cooking School
24 ServingsPrep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • Melted caramels or chocolate, optional
  • Chopped nuts, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract if
  • desired. Add flour, beat until a stiff dough forms. Divide dough in
  • half. Press into two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Use a fork to
  • prick the dough over the entire surface randomly or in a pattern.
  • Bake at 300° for 35 minutes or until light golden brown around
  • the edges. Immediately turn out onto a cutting surface. While warm,
  • cut into 12 wedges using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Transfer to
  • a wire rack to cool completely. Serve plain or drizzle with melted
  • caramel or chocolate and sprinkle with nuts if desired.
  • Yield: 2 dozen.