There is something magical about plain old-fashioned Shortbread cookies which makes them alluring and irresistible, even without all the bells and whistles! The delicate texture, the melt-in-your-mouth feeling, and the hint of buttery goodness in every bite makes them a favorite holiday cookie recipe. So if want to bake some lovely Christmas cookies this holiday season, just like the Walkers Shortbreads, then print and keep this recipe taped onto your fridge because you’ll be making them more often then you realize!
Originating from Scotland, where they were served only during the X’mas season, Shortbread cookies have just 4 ingredients in the recipe, but the quality of your cookies depends on the quality of Butter that you use. So don’t skimp on it this time, unless you want a fake imitation of the real shortbread cookies. This recipe calls for corn flour along with AP flour, which gives it the velvety melt-in-your-mouth texture, but if you prefer a bit crumbly cookies, or don’t have corn flour on hand, just use AP flour instead. This basic recipe can be adapted to suit your favorite flavors, be sure to check out the recipe variations at the end of the post. Photo courtesy of fine cooking.
Here’s a video tutorial to guide you through the process!
Traditional Shortbread (Christmas) Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
** you can even use brown sugar, finely grounded
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a dry mixing bowl whisk the flour with the salt and set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the 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 smooth disk shape with your hand, then wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep ready.
On a 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 again out the trays in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes in the pre-heated oven, taking care to rotate the trays midway, at about 5 minutes. Do not over-bake the cookies – light brown is the color to look for, unless you have used brown sugar, which would give tem a deeper brown color. Cool the cookies on a wire rack, then store them in an air-tight container.
Shortbread cookies are extremely versatile, so feel free to add 1 tsp of either espresso, flavored coffee or cocoa powder to make espresso or chocolate short-breads. You can also add 1/2 cup of chocolate-chips instead. For a citrus twist, add 1 tsp orange or lemon zest. You can use Muscovado sugar for a dark-brown and flavorful shortbread cookie. Or better yet, bake simple sugar cookies, and dip them in chocolate icing for a truly decadent treat.