I enjoy baking, but I rarely make the time for it. Except at Christmas. I still don’t do a lot of baking, but I always make at least a few yummy goodies to have on hand. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without cookies.
Growing up, we would go to my grandparents house for Christmas every year. I have so many wonderful memories of playing games with my cousins, singing carols, playing Skipbo (once I was old enough to join the adult card table – BIG moment in my life – ha!), and finding the delicious treats Grandmother had strategically placed around the house. My favorite was the shortbread hidden under a covered pink glass dish in the living room. It was such a simple cookie. Dry yet sweet. No special flavoring. A simple sheet cut into rectangle fingers. I loved it!
Strangely enough, I never tried baking it myself until about 5 years ago. Now it is a Christmas staple. The perfect cookie to have with hot tea while curling up with a fun Christmas read.
Shortbread Christmas Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat over to 350. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter and sugar. Add vanilla. In a medium bow, sift together flour and salt. Add to butter/sugar mixture and mix until combined. Form dough in your hands and mold into 2 flat disks. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick and cut into shapes. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Karen’s tip: Instead of rolling dough out on a floured surface to cut into shapes, since this dough is already dry, it is much better (and easier) to roll the dough onto a piece of wax paper. Lay a piece the plastic wrap you covered the dough in earlier over the top and roll dough between the plastic wrap and wax paper. No additional flour is needed. I do dip my cookie cutters in flour, however, before cutting the dough to prevent sticking.
This year I decided to cut my cookies into cute mini Christmas shapes. These are my guilt-free cookie bites. And they are just adorable!
I sent a batch to my publishing house as a thank you to my publishing team, and I saved a selection in my secret kitchen stash.
If you make these mini cookies, reduce baking time to 15 minutes.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! May you have lots of yummy goodies to enjoy along with great Christmas stories to read.