MVSKOKE RESERVATION – These shortbread cookies are easy, infinitely changeable, and super impressive for holiday gifts. They are crisp with sugar, rich with butter, and will melt in your mouth. The basic recipe can be used to make a Christmas cookie box full of different cookies. The best thing about them during the holidays is how easy and child friendly they are to make. The basic recipe is made with three simple ingredients most have on hand: butter, sugar, and flour. They can also be changed with the simple addition of mix-ins and baked in any number of ways. They can be rolled into logs, cut and baked. They can be pressed into a whole sheet pan, then cut into squares after baking. The easiest way by far is simply to roll into balls, flatten and bake. But, the absolute best thing about them during the holidays – the dough freezes for up to two months so you can always have cookies ready to go.
1 stick of unsalted room temperature butter
¼ cup + 1 TBSP sugar
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp vanilla or other flavoring
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325 F, you can use parchment to prevent the dough from sticking. In a large bowl use a stand or hand mixer and cream the butter until white. Add the sugar and beat for approx five minutes until very smooth and creamy. Add the pinch of salt. At this point you can add any flavorings like vanilla or lemon extract.
Once the butter and sugar are mixed, add the flour slowly, a ¼ cup at time. After the flour has been fully incorporated, you can add what you like: nuts, chopped up candies, chocolate, or citrus peel.
You can bake them now, but it’s best to let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. If you like the cut and bake style of cookie, you can roll them in parchment paper before letting them rest. Place small (walnut sized) pieces of dough on a cookie sheet three inches apart. You can bake them as they are, or you can flatten them, topping with sprinkles or sugar. Bake for 12-18 minutes until just barely golden in the middle. Cool on the sheet for 10 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. They can be stored in a container for up to 2 weeks.