Shortbread Cookies

merry christmas eve eve.

today is my last full day to prep for tomorrow nights annual party.  cookies, lasagna, cleaning, and final assembly of toys are all on the agenda today.
first on the list, shortbread cookies.  everyone knows santa loves shortbread, he also loves cookies 'n cream cookies, no bake cookies, and peanut m&m's.
i think it's safe to say i've got my bases covered for SC, and santa will no doubt leave our home a little more jolly & round.

Shortbread Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

(optional) For Chocolate Dipped Shortbread:
6 ounces semi sweet, bittersweet, or white chocolate, finely chopped

In a large bowl whisk the flour with the salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add in sugar and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.  Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F with rack in the middle of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle.  Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter.  Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

For Chocolate Dipped Shortbreads:  Place 3 ounces of the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water.  Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat.  Add the remaining chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until it has completely melted and is smooth and glossy.  Taking one cookie at a time, dip one end of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Once all the cookies have been dipped in the chocolate, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze.
Yields: 20 cookies

recipe courtesy of the Joy of Baking


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