- 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) superfine sugar
- 1 Pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla bean paste (keeps shortbread from colouring)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) rice flour (the big secret!) You can use cornstarch too!
- 1-3/4 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour
PreparationLine rimless baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and salt until fluffy and almost white. Stir in vanilla then rice flour. Stir in all-purpose flour, one-third at a time. Form into 2 flat rectangles. Make sure to stir where it says stir or else you will not achieve the "melty" results
Between waxed paper, roll out rectangles to generous 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Cut out 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) circles, bells or even stars! Place, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on prepared pans, re-rolling scraps and chilling dough between cutting. I use cornstarch and flour mixed for rolling on the waxed paper. Use gingerly!!! Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. I put a halved drained maraschino cherry on my rounds and then sprinkle with berry sugar (many use glaced cherries but I like the maraschino) You can get fancy with sprinkles etc should you wish!
Bake in top and bottom thirds of 275°F (140°C) oven, rotating and switching pans halfway through, until bottoms are light golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes on pans on racks. Transfer to racks to let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight containers and store at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.)