This is an extra special Christmas Treats post because this is my first post participating in the Fantastical Food Fight. This month’s theme was shortbread cookies, and so I made my mom’s classic recipe except I tweaked it just a little bit. Normally I am not a fan of shortbread cookies, but I found the splash of vanilla I added really brought me around to liking them this season. I thought they went really well with a cup of orange pekoe. I remember when I was little my mom would make shortbread cookies and my dad loved to eat them with a tall glass of milk. My sister and I always remembered to put the shortbread out for “Santa” on Christmas eve.
This recipe like most shortbread recipes is very simple and has very few ingredients. The most important thing I learned while baking shortbread is unlike most cookies is you don’t want them to go golden brown. My mom reminded me after a batch of shortbread cookies came out looking like gingerbread cookies that shortbread cookies shouldn’t have any colour to them. As you would guess when I made another batch I was much more vigilant with the cookies. I squatted in-front of the oven and watched through the little grimy window to make sure these cookies would turn out properly. And I’m proud to say they did.
- 1 cup room temperature salted butter*
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cream together butter and icing sugar together until combined and light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and combine again.
- Combine flour and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix until evenly combined. Add to butter mixture and mix until incorporated. At this point my dough wasn’t quite fully together yet.
- Flour a clean surface and pour dough on top and press together into a ball. Slowly with your hands press the ball into a circle, being gentle and pressing the sides so they don’t crumble. At this point you can use a rolling pin gently if you wish to roll out the dough. I rolled my dough out to about 1/4 inch thick, but you can choose your preference.
- Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes and immediately transfer to cooling rack to cool.
- I left my cookies unadorned as we don’t like glazed cherries in our house but feel free to top your cookies as you see fit.
*Note* I used salted butter because I found the cookies had more flavour.