I've been making shortbread for all of my adult life, but this past Christmas my mother brought some plain shortbread to the house to share that put all other shortbreads to shame. And it was such a simple tweak: no confectioner's sugar, no leavening of any type, nothing fancy at all. Just a ton of butter. I'm going to share it with you just as she wrote it:
5 C Sifted Flour
1 # Butter
Vanilla - pinch of Salt
1 C sugar
Cream butter and Sugar together with electric beater until light and fluffy like cream. Add salt, Vanilla and Flour slowly. Bake in a 9" x 13" Glass Dish at 275 degrees for an hour. Score in squares. When you remove from baking score again and sprinkle with Sugar.
Here is the Chocolate variation!