Mrs. Kickbush's Shortbread

I have a poor memory, but I remember the first time I tried these little round sweet and tender delights. Mrs. Kickbush was always so generous, it was no surprise that she would share her recipe with me.
I also remember the phone call to Mrs. K the first time I tried the recipe. “It is just all crumbly and floury - are you sure I have added all the ingredients?” “DON’T add anything! Just keep working it, the dough will come together.” Which it did, and always has - it takes longer if the ingredients are colder.
Once, I was in a hurry to get one more batch done the day before the cookie exchange at work. Instead of refrigerating the rolls and then slicing, I rolled/patted the dough directly onto a parchment-lined cooking sheet. I sliced the slab into wafers before baking the solid mass. It worked really well, the slab broke apart at the slices perfectly and left me with rectangular, very lightly coloured cookies. The slab only browned slightly around the edges.

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1 cup250 ml butter
¾ cup190 ml rice flour
1¾ cup440 ml white flour
½ cup125 ml icing sugar
½ tsp3 ml salt

Options:
½ tsp3 ml maple/walnut/pecan/almond extract/syrup
Try substituting corn masa harina (not meal) for the rice flour.
Or whole wheat for white wheat flour.

MEASURE butter when it is cold.
In a mediums-sized bowl, ALLOW butter to WARM to room temperature.
SIFT over butter, flours, sugar and salt. (ADD extract/syrups)
CREAM together. CONTUNUE until well combined.
KNEAD with your hands for 5 minutes. It will all come together to form a nice dough.
DIVIDE dough in ½ and make 2 rolls about 1”3 cm in diameter.
CHILL at least 2 hours. (can also be frozen for 1 month at this stage, then defrosted in the refrigerator)
PREHEAT oven to 325°F160 C.
SLICE rolls into ¼“6 mm cookies.
PLACE on 2 ungreased pans lined with parchment paper. (the cookies only spread slightly, so can be well within ½"1 cm from each other)
BAKE at 325°F160 C for 12-18 minutes.
WATCH carefully after 10 minutes. Cookies should hardly golden at all.
COOL on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring.
COOKIES are best when aged for 1 week in an airtight container.

Notes: Makes 48 cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks, or freeze for 1 month. Recipe can be doubled, but then knead it for longer.

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