As a child, my favorite Christmas cookies were the colorful ones. The ones topped with chocolate kisses or shaped like candy canes. The linzer tarts my mom made had tree cut outs in them that displayed their delicious raspberry jelly insides. My least favorite was the shortbread squares.
Shortbread is beige. There are no swirls of color or a festive design. It is simple. Up until the past few years, though, I just didn’t appreciate that it’s simplicity is why it’s so delicious. It is crumbly layers of rich buttery cookie made from just three ingredients and that is why it is so good.
This shortbread is a classic recipe. It’s the one my mother makes every Christmas because it’s my brother’s favorite. I had never realized how easy it is. The preparation takes under 10 minutes before you are ready to bake them, which is handy since the holidays are usually hectic. A quick cookie recipe that’s also delicious is a handy thing to have.
makes 25 cookies
1/2 pound butter, salted
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
extra powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients using a stand mixture until it starts to clump together. Use your hands to work the mixture the rest of the way, softening the butter, until it forms a ball of dough. Pat the mixture evenly into an ungreased 9″ x 9″ pan. Pierce the dough every two inches with a fork. Bake for 40 minutes of until golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into squares while the shortbread is still warm. Let cool completely dusting with sifted powdered sugar.