Monday, January 23, 2012

Shortbread Cookies

These delicate cookies are wonderful with a hot cup of tea.  Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter for Valentine's Day, a Shamrock for St. Patty's Day, or just a plain round or fluted cutter for everyday.  They're easy to make.  Just be careful not to pick up too much flour while rolling them out so they're not too dry.

3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar
decorative sugar

Mix together the butter and granulated sugar in large bowl.  Add vanilla.  In small bowl, sift together the flour and salt; add it to the butter and sugar.  Mix until the dough starts to come together.  Dump the mixture on a floured board and shape into a flat disk.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Roll the dough 1/2 inch thick and cut with a floured 3 inch cookie cutter.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet (I line with parchment paper) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.  Let cool to room temp.

Combine the confectioners' sugar with about 2 tablespoons of water to make a very thin glaze.  Spoon onto the cookies and sprinkle with decorative sugar before glaze dries.

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