Crisp and buttery, rainbow speckled mini shortbread squares. These are fun to make and everyone always loves them! They keep really well, I like to freeze them and put some in my kids school lunch. Yield: About 336 itty bitty bites.
Ready in: 1hour20minutes
1cup (226g)salted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces*
3/4cup (155g)granulated sugar
2 1/4cups (318g)all-purpose flour
3 1/2Tbsp (42g)nonpareils sprinkles, divided
Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish** and line with 2 sheets of parchment paper (one horizontally and one vertically. I also like to butter between parchment sheets so they stick) leaving a 1-inch over hang on all sides, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until well combined (not light and fluffy, just well blended). Mix in almond extract.
With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until combined (it will take a while and will appear dry and sandy at first but it will start to come together). Mix in 2 1/2 Tbsp of the sprinkles.
Press dough into an even layer in prepared baking dish (I did it with my hands first then used the bottom of a flat measuring cup to help smooth it out).
Sprinkle remaining 1 Tbsp sprinkles over top and lightly press into dough. Chill dough in refrigerator 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lift dough from pan using parchment overhang on all sides. Cut into 1/2-inch squares using a large sharp knife***.
Transfer about 1/3 of the cookies to an unbuttered baking sheet**** and scatter cookies out spacing cookies 1/2-inch apart.
Bake in preheated oven 8 - 12 minutes (keep remaining that aren't currently baking refrigerated).
Repeat process with remaining bites, adding them to a cool baking sheet. Cool completely then transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.
*Unsalted butter will work great too. Simply whisk in 1/2 tsp salt with the flour before adding if using unsalted butter.
**For slightly thicker bites a 9 by 9-inch pan can be used you just won't get quite as many cookies.
***It works best to just cut long rows. Run large knife underneath cookies to help remove them from parchment as needed.
****Don't line pan with parchment or silicone liners. The ungreased sheets give the cookies some traction so they'll spread less.