Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Classic Round Shortbread Cookies

Servings: Makes 16 cookies
Set out these tender, buttery cookies with a bowl of fresh berries for a compatible pairing. Topping the cooled cookies with a light dusting of confectioners' sugar is another nice serving option.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tsp. for topping
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick/4 oz./113g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

You will need one or two ungreased baking sheets or cookie sheets

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

In a food processor, combine the flour, the 1/3 cup sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Process briefly until well mixed. Add the butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture resembles fine meal.

Transfer the mixture to a large sheet of waxed paper and, using your hands, gather together into a flat disk. Top with a second sheet of waxed paper. Roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Using a round cookie cutter 2 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out cookies. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, spacing the rounds about 1/2 inch apart. Gather up the scraps, pat into a disk, and roll out again. Cut out additional cookies. Sprinkle the cookies evenly with the 2 tsp. sugar.

Bake in preheated oven until just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes 16 cookies.

Date: May 11, 2010