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This is our local (Vermont) version of an old British favorite.
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) Baker's Special or granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 3/4 ounces) pure granulated maple sugar OR 1/2 cup maple-flavored sugar
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional, for increased maple flavor)
In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with a mixer or, preferably, by hand. Add the flour and blend till the mixture resembles fine cornmeal. To shape, roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, press with a cookie stamp (or the bottom of a glass) and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking. Or form the dough into a long roll, 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, cover with parchment paper and freeze till very firm. When ready to bake, slice into cookies NO THINNER than 1/4-inch and prick each cookie twice with a fork. Bake on ungreased baking sheets in a preheated 300°F oven for about 20 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully -- when the bottoms are a light sand color, remove them immediately and cool completely on wire racks.
Store the cookies in tins lined with waxed or parchment paper. You'll find that shortbread improves with a little age.
Note: You can also bake the shortbread in stoneware shortbread pans, or two 9" round cake pans. Press shortbread dough into the pans, and bake in a preheated 325°F oven for about 35 minutes, till shortbread is a very light golden brown. Remove from the oven, turn out of the pans, and cut into wedges or squares.