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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shortbread Cookies



Making a choice for my next cookie post wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Even though I decided to feature shortbread cookies, the question remained...which one?

There is definitely no shortage of shortbread cookie recipes available. My collection includes chocolate, toasted coconut, chocolate chip and whipped shortbread. Even these recipes have variations in the types of sugar, flour and starch used.

Shortbread dough can be rolled and cut out, dropped from a spoon, piped from a pastry bag or cookie press and even placed into a shortbread mold.

No matter what shape, size or flavour, the buttery taste and delicate texture put shortbread cookies into a class of their own.

The recipe I’ve posted was originally a drop cookie with the option of rolling out the dough and cutting out shapes with cookie cutters.

Rolling out the dough gives excellent results as it keeps its shape very well and is great for making theme cookies.

This shortbread recipe has made umbrella shapes for wedding showers and bouquets of daisies and sunflowers to celebrate a special birthday and a fall engagement. Snowman, rocking horse and butterfly shapes put big smiles on the faces of those who received them.

A little royal icing and appropriate decorations made these cookies come to life, especially the flower cut outs that were given stems like real flowers and arranged in decorative flower pots.

Last year I cut out snowflake shapes but not being totally satisfied with the result thought of a way to bring a little life to these also.

Some sparkling coarse white sugar, a few silver dragees and a little white chocolate for glue turned the cookies into something a little more special.

No matter what shape you decide to make this dough into, the taste will be just as good.

Personally I think there’s more waiting in this dough than just a drop cookie; it can be rolled out as far as your imagination takes you!


Shortbread Cookies

2 cups softened butter
1 cup fruit or superfine sugar
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup corn starch
  1. Sift flour and corn starch and set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended.
  4. Drop dough from a teaspoon onto lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheets, or roll and cut out desired shapes.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes for drop cookies.
  6. Depending on size and thickness of rolled cookies bake until edges of cookies turn a light golden colour.












Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • If making drop cookies you can add chocolate chips or nuts to the dough.
  • Roll dough inside a plastic food bag for uniform thickness (see picture).
  • If making snowflake cookies as in above picture, melt some white chocolate and place a drop between two cookies to stick them together.
  • For an easy way to decorate cut out cookies, after baking and while still warm, roll them in some superfine sugar. This is the easiest way to finish them off perfectly.

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