If using vanilla extract, drizzle over shortbread dough just before kneading.
To make different shortbread shapes, on a lightly floured surface roll or pat dough until 1/2 inch thick. Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
Prepare as directed, except substitute packed brown sugar for the granulated sugar. After cutting in butter, stir in 2 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans. Press a pecan half into each wedge before baking. Per serving: same as above except 121 cal., 7 g fat, 47 mg sodium,13 g carb., 1 g fiber, 1% calcium
Place shortbread in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature up to 3 days.