2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temp.)
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whisk flour with salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Stir in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350o Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into rounds or whatever shapes you wish, using lightly floured cookie cutters.
Place cookies on prepared baking sheets and place in refrigerator for at least 15 to 20 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 20 shortbread cookies.