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3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups softened butter
Preheat oven to 300 F. Sift together flours and salt. Cream butter and sugar by hand or with an electric mixer until well combined. Slowly mix in flours with a wooden spoon. The dough should be pliable and firm but not crumbly.
Divide into half and roll out each half into about ½ -inch thickness. With a floured 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds of cookies. Prick each cookie all over.
Keep all the trimmings of the dough, chill and re-roll later to make a few more cookies.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for about 25 minutes or until creamy coloured but not brown. If you like a crisper cookie rather than a softer one, bake 5 minutes longer. If you want thicker cookies they will take longer to bake.
Cool 2 minutes on sheet then remove to wire rack. Sift all over with granulated sugar, if desired.
CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD: Chop about 1 cup chocolate into small chunks and combine with flours.
GINGER SHORTBREAD: dice about 1 cup (more if you like a stronger ginger flavour) crystallised ginger and add into flour.
CANDIED PEEL SHORTBREAD: Add 1 cup moist candy peel into flours.
DRIED CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD: Add 1 cup dried cranberries into flours.
CHOCOLATE AND CANDIED GINGER: Coarsely chop 1 cup bittersweet chocolate. Coarsely chop about 1 cup drained ginger in syrup or crystallized ginger. Stir into cookie batter before combining into a ball. Top each cookie with a chocolate chunk before baking.
CHERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE: Combine 1 cup dried cherries with 1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate. Stir in to cookie batter before combining into a ball. Top each cookie with a chunk of white chocolate before baking.