Wheaty and buttery and carmelized, gritty and salty and sweet, this shortbread is not for the faint of heart. They are not docile, melt-in-your mouth cookies; they are never-a-dull-moment cookies!
Start by browning the butter in a small- to medium-sized pan over medium-low heat. Let the butter melt, then continue cooking it, swirling the pan constantly, until the butter gets golden-brown and smells nutty, another 3 or 4 minutes.
Heat the oven to 325.
Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough starts to clump together and you don't see any dry patches, about 1-2 minutes
Scrape it into a 9-inch glass pie plate or metal springform tart pan, then use your fingers to pat it down firmly and evenly. Prick holes all over the top with a fork or a toothpick, then use a sharp knife to score the shortbread into 16 wedges.
Bake until deeply brown all over, 45 to 50 minutes, then remove it from the oven and cut immediately in the pan, retracing your lines with a sharp knife.
Let cool completely in the pan before storing airtight.