Holiday Cookies: Childhood Shortbread Cookies
What’s up everyone? Only five more days until Christmas! As the holidays draw near everyone is starting to decide what they are going to cook. Today I am going share a dish that has a special place near my heart and my tummy.
This post is dedicated to my Grandmother, who makes the yummiest shortbread cookies in the world! That’s my opinion anyway.
There are two desserts that I love during Christmas; Short Bread cookies and Minced Pies. Both are made by my Gran. When I was a lot younger, I used to go by her and help make these yummy shortbread cookies every year. It was always a good time, standing up helping and picking at the raw dough and eating it before they went into the oven.
She would make a batch for the whole family. There was something nostalgic about crunching into those bad boys during the holiday season, leading up to Christmas day.
Well everyone, thanks to my awesome Grandmother who gave me the recipe, and me recipe testing it two days ago, I can safely say it’s time to make some cookies!
This post will be a little longer than usual. It might be a readers first time making a cookie, so I will do a bit of explaining.
Yield: 20 (2 inch wide) Cookies
Baking Time 30 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
- 11oz All Purpose flour (do not use five roses flour)
- 1oz Cornstarch
- 8oz Chilled Unsalted butter
- 4oz Caster sugar
- ½ Vanilla Pod or ½ tsp of Vanilla paste
Now the reason short bread cookies have their name is because of their crumble. The term “short”, refers to the gluten strands. When you make bread, you knead it for a long time so you can stretch the gluten strands. When you make pies & cookies, you don’t want to do that because it will lose its “crunch” & “crumble”. How the butter is handled also has a lot to do with it, making sure its mixed in cold and not warm, prevents it from becoming a greasy mess.
If this is your first time making the dough, I can guarantee, you will be confused by the texture. Remember you aren’t making bread, you are making cookies.
Let’s get to it!
Preheat your oven to 300 F. Grease and line your baking sheet with Butter & Parchment paper. If you have a silicone pad “Sil mat”, spray with a nonstick fat. Measure all the dry ingredients then sift and combine in one bowl. Cut your butter into ½ inch cubes and reserve.
*Please note*: If you do not have a mixer and instead have a handheld blender, this may take longer to do. It is in this moment you will wish you bought that lovely red Kitchen Aid for Christmas, I wish I did!
Please use the paddle attachment, if you are using a handheld mixer, use the whisk attachment.
Add your butter to your mixing bowl and start on a slow speed. Drop in your vanilla (I almost forgot it). Then add your flour to the mix and slowly increase the speed. A medium speed is good, you don’t want to make a mess now. You are looking for the dough to come together, it may have some crumbly pieces. Remember you don’t want to it be a wet mix, so don’t over work the dough.
Please use the image as a reference.
Once its mixed, take it out and shape it into a ball. Be sure to get all the little crumbly pieces incorporated.
*Please note*: If you are in a cold country and you are working on a marble surface of some sort. You might be able to work the dough right away. For those who are fortunate enough to be living in a nice warm climate, please wrap up the dough and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the fats to stay together and not separate when you roll it out later.
In a little bowl, combine equal parts of flour and sugar. This is for dusting the dough. You don’t need an awful whole lot. Maybe 1/3 cup of each, mixed together.
Take it out of the fridge and give it a few hits with the rolling pin. Lightly dust your surface and begin rolling the dough. Every time you roll the dough turn it around so you give it an even surface. It will be crumbly at first, do not be scared, just put them back into the dough. Be sure to constantly dust it.
Roll the dough to ¼ inch thick, cut with the ring molds of your choice. Place evenly on a baking sheet and bake for thirty minutes. Not everyone’s oven is the same. Please use your judgement. You may have to increase the baking time by five to ten minutes. The dough should be slightly tender. Don’t let them get brown on the edges.
I hope you enjoy these as much I do. Its day 3 and I am still going at them.