1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup apricot jam
Red and silver candies
Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, then the flour, mixing well. Knead the dough until smooth; shape into a ball and cut in half. Press half the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick on an ungreased baking sheet. Cut into desired shapes. Prick the surface well and bake in a 300 degree F oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the edges are light brown.
Remove from the baking sheet and place on a rack to cool, handling carefully as the shortbread is quite fragile.
To serve, heat the apricot jam in a small pan until just boiling. Strain and brush over the shortbread. Decorate the edges with red and silver candies. (When hardened, the jam will hold the candies in place.) Stored tightly wrapped in foil or in an airtight container without the decoration, the shortbread will keep for up to 10 days.
Yield: 4 to 5 dozen cookies.