Shortbread Cookies

Most of the people I know only make these at Christmas, but they are a nice treat any time of the year.  I think every Canadian household has their own version of these, from  the buttery melt in your mouth ones to the sturdy Scottish kind.

The recipes I have found are all very similar, the secret for tender shortbread seems to be room temperature butter and in working the dough less for more tender cookies.

My photo does not match the description of how to form these cookies because I tried to complicate my life by cutting them into squares.  Making the balls to form circles is much simpler.   This will make about 2 dozen cookies.

Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter

3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted to remove any lumps  IMG_0043

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

In bowl of stand mixer, (or bowl and wooden spoon), beat together butter, icing sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.   Remove bowl from mixer stand and using wooden spoon, stir in flour until just combined.

Arrange oven racks in top and bottom of oven and preheat to 325F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Divide dough in half and press into 2 discs. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate until firm, but still soft enough to work with.

Roll into 1″ balls and place on prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Using the bottom of a glass, gently press each ball  to 1/4″ thick.

Bake until just golden, about 20 minutes, rotating pans in oven half way thru cooking.  Place pans on wire racks and let cool completely in pans.


Snowy Chocolate Cookies

Perfect for anytime really, but chocolate is so appropriate in February.   This makes about 20 cookies so you may want to double up.

Snowy Chocolate Cookies

Snowy Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup butter at room temp

1/3 cup white sugar + 3 Tablespoons, separated

1 egg yolk

3/4 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup icing sugar (plus more for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in medium bowl and set aside.   In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter with 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until well combined.  Stir in flour mixture until combined.

Place the 3 Tablespoons of sugar and the icing sugar in separate bowls.

Roll dough into balls, about 1 Tablespoon each.   Roll each ball in sugar to coat.  Shake off excess, then in icing sugar, shaking off excess.  Place 1 1/2′ apart on prepared cookie sheet.  Press to about 1/2′ thickness, just until edges of cookie start to crack.  Bake 1 sheet at a time, until no longer shiny.  About 10 minutes.   Let cool on pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.  Once cool, dust with additional icing sugar.