We love a lightly sweetened, rich and buttery shortbread and these are fun because they're cut into bite sized pieces. They're a bit addicting and once you start popping them in your mouth, it's hard to stop.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil, leaving a 1 inch overhang.
Add the butter, sugar, and vanilla to a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
Beat in the flour and salt until the dough is crumbly. Stir in the nonpareils.
Knead the crumbly mixture with your hands 3-4 times, just until a soft dough forms. Do not overmix the dough or your shortbread will be tough.
Drop pieces of the dough into the lined pan and press them together to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
Lift the dough from the pan by picking up the edges of the foil and place the dough onto a cutting board.
Cut dough into 7 rows each direction, making 49 pieces of shortbread.
Arrange shortbread bites on a baking sheet leaving a bit of space between each piece.
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until bottoms just begin to brown. Do not overbake.
Let cool before serving.
The ratios are very important here, so be sure to measure your flour properly by fluffing it up, spooning it into a dry measure, and then leveling it off with the back of a knife. Do not compact the flour or your dough will be too dry.The dough will be dry and crumbly after mixing. The heat from your hands will help bring it together into a soft dough.