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Scottish Shortbread

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour (see different methods)
1/2 teaspoon salt

FAST METHOD: Cream butter until white with electric mixer. Add brown sugar and salt. Beat very well. Add 3 1/2 cups flour. Beat with dough hook. Drop cookies on cookie sheets with teaspoon. Decorate if desired. Doubling the recipe makes about 25 doz cookies (300). Bake at 300F for 15-20 minutes. DO NOT BROWN.

TRADITIONAL METHOD: Cream butter and brown sugar with a fork until well mixed. Add salt and mix. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour, and mix with fork. Use the remaining 1/2 cup of flour while rolling out on board. Turn out dough and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until melded and consistency is even. Roll out to 1/4" and cut cookies, either with special cookie cutters, or by scoring with a knife. Lift to cookie sheet with spatula. Prick with fork tines to keep flat when baking. Decorate if desired. Bake at 300F for 20 to 25 minutes. DO NOT BROWN.

TIP: A delicious and very fancy way (tea parties) of presenting either the drop cookies or the flat ones, is to stick them together with melted semi-sweet chocolate. You can also add 2 packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips for another variation. Tradition has it that shortbreads should be firm and pale, and not decorated. Christmastime is an exception. SCOTTISH SHORTBREAD is served either in big chunks broken off from a whole slab of "fingers" scored from 1/2" thick dough, or round cookies. Never fancy shapes or doo-dads.

Yield: 12 to 13 Dozen Cookies

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