175g plain flour
50g ground almonds
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
150g unsalted butter
Mix the dry ingredients and then add the butter (easiest with a food mixer but you can do rub it in by hand) until you get a breadcrumb appearance.
Squeeze this all together to get your "dough". Then simply roll out to about 1cm thick and cut out the shapes you want. I usually use a 2inch pastry cutter. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 20 minutes at 160C.
Place on a rack, dust with caster sugar and allow to cool.
Melt in the mouth Lemon Shortbread:
250g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
250g plain flour
pinch of salt
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp lemon extract
Cream the butter and sugar, add the lemon zest and extract, then slowly add in the flour, polenta and salt until they come together as a dough. chill for 30 minutes then roll it out and cut to shape as above. However, these go in the oven for 15 minutes at 190C (and keep an eye on them as they will overcook and burn very quickly if you leave them in too long). Again, place on a rack, dust with caster sugar and allow to cool.
To make these look more impressive feel free to decorate them with patterns, almond pieces etc...They will also keep in an airtight tin for a few days (probably longer but I've usually eaten them by then!)