Royal Scotch Shortbread

Shortbread that takes a little patience to make, but its buttery taste is the ultimate reward.

By Molly O'Neill

"Neither young children nor kitchen klutzes can make these cookies," says the Reluctant Grandmother, "But grandchildren over the age of 10, who have a light touch and a little respect for delicate dough, can learn."

2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cool unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Sift the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the butter and use your hands or a pastry cutter to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Work into a ball and knead briefly. Pat into a 1/4-inch sheet on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cut the dough into 2-inch diamonds.

2. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Immediately recut the cookies. Separate carefully and cool on a rack. Cookies can be frozen in an airtight container, with wax paper between each layer for up to 6 months. Defrost 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: About 28 cookies.



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