December 5, 2014

Melt In Your Mouth Whipped Shortbread

Shortbread cookies are a favorite for special occasions, and Christmas is no exception. Along with other tasty treats, shortbread will make an appearance on the goodie trays we give to family and friends through the holiday season.

I haven't always made shortbread. I was told that it's finicky, the ingredients need to be just the right temperature, and it takes a lot of practice to make truly good shortbread. I admit, hearing that intimidated me. I don't like fussy food prep.



But then I came across this recipe and it was so easy I had to try it. The cookies turned out great! Since then I've made more than one batch and they consistently turn out delicious and melt-in-your-mouth. This shortbread recipe is a keeper.

Try it out and see for yourself.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 F. We will be baking the actual cookies at 325 F but baking at this lower heat makes it tough to keep a consistent temp in the oven. Pre-heating to 350 F will help the intial baking when the cookies first go in and the oven door leaks out half your heat.

Beat the butter until it is light and fluffy.
I like my little hand mixer but use what you like.
Add the vanilla and beat some more.
Add the icing sugar and mix it in well.

Mix the flour, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.
Add it to the butter and sugar mix and combine it all really well.

The cookie dough will be light and fluffy and reminds me more of icing than dough in appearance. The texture will be like someone whipped air into play-dough. It will be slightly sticky but not so much it sticks to your hands, and it will be easy to shape.



Use a spoon to scoop some of the dough and roll it into a ball.
Flatten the ball slightly between your palms and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. This recipe should make about 24 cookies.

Decorate your cookies. Try halved maraschino cherries, pecans, walnuts or almond slices, baking chips (peanut butter, chocolate, or butterscotch alone or in combination) or sprinkles.

Place the cookies in the oven, reduce the heat to 325 F and bake for 20 minutes.



Almond Shortbread Alternative - Include a teaspoon of almond extract when adding the vanilla extract and add an extra tablespoon of icing sugar. Decorate with a chocolate chip and an almond slice.




A few specially decorated cookies in a pretty bag are a great addition to a stocking and they can be as unique as the person you give them to.
Keep Shortbread stored in a sealed bag. Shortbread can also be frozen.






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