Servings: Makes 1 9-inch (23 cm) square pan
1 cup (250 ml) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 ml) icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar (caster sugar)
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (560 ml) all-purpose flour (plain flour)
1/4 cup (60 ml) brown or white rice flour
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a 9-inch (23 cm) square pan.
2. Beat the butter for 2 minutes (or 4 minutes if by hand), to make it fluffy and light. Add the icing sugar and sugar and beat again for 2 minutes until fluffy then beat in the vanilla.
3. Sift the flour, rice flour and salt, then add, stirring until evenly blended.
3. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and press it flat into the bottom of the pan (the dough is quite firm and easy to press, but if your fingers do stick, dust them with a little flour). Use a fork to dock the shortbread at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals.
4. Bake the shortbread for about 25 minutes, until the outside edges have browned a little.
5. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes, then cut into squares. Allow the cookies cool completely before lifting them out of the pan to store.
The shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
NOTE: When making shortbread, beating the butter well before adding the sugar is a key step. Since shortbread has no egg nor baking powder, making the butter fluffy keeps the cookies tender and light.