1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp cold water
1 cup flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and water. Gradually blend in flour. Chill. Roll 1/4" thick. Cut into rectangles. Bake at 325oF for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. While still warm, shake in powdered sugar. For a festive look, add a couple of tablespoons of colored sugar (I like green or red at Christmas) to the confectioner's sugar. Alternatively, sift the confectioner's sugar over the warm cookies while stick on the cooling rack. I get less cookie breakage with the second method.
These are my all time favorite Christmas cookies. The recipe comes from my Great Aunt Vi, who grew up on the bayou in Lousiana, then worked as a nurse in New Orleans. The year before my mom died, she was bemoaning the fact that my dad was not planning on making Shorts for Christmas. Too much trouble, he said. They are fragile cookies and do require a bit more oversight than most. As a surprise, I baked a batch, carefully wrapped each cookie in waxed paper, then packed them in layers in bubble wrap. Off the package went to my sister's in California for hand delivery to my Mom: express mail to be there in time. The next evening, my sister called to report. Urgle. Her dog had eaten the package. A real trooper, The Pretty One asked for the recipe (she's not a cook), baked a batch and brought them over to my mom.
Ah...yes, there are no pecans in the recipe as it's come down to me. I'm allergic to nuts, so this is fine with me. But if you like pecans, you'll have to figure out how much and how to add them in!