Add your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whish to blend. Melt your butter and add the pure vanilla extract. Whisk to mix. Some recommend using room temperature butter instead of melted butter. I have tested both and I wasn't able to tell much of a difference.You can also use a food processor to mix up your dough.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
Preheat your oven to 450º F.
Place the dough on parchment paper. Press your dough to 1 inch to 1 ¼ inch thickness.
HINT: Use a rolling pin or flat bottomed glass to make the top flat and smooth.
Score the dough by cutting it into wedges. Use a big sharp knife or a pizza cutting wheel. I find I have more control in keeping the lines straight using the big knife.
Note: You can also make your dough a rectangle and cut these out to be rectangle-shaped.
Use a shishkabob stick to poke holes. These are totally decorative, but do help your shortbread bake more evenly. If you are short on time you can skip this step.
Optional: sprinkle with coarse sugar. Slide the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
Put the shortbread into the oven and turn DOWN the oven temperature to 300º F.
Step 9: Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is golden. The long bake on a low temperature helps get this shortbread crispier.
Enjoy them plain or dip/drizzle some melted chocolate over them!