The second of the two kinds of shortbread that I make is the type that melts in your mouth...it's light and it's airy.
I have been using this recipe for years (It was my very first shortbread recipe!). I am not sure where it originally came from (sometime in the late 1980's, my sister put together a MacWrite-v.4.5, 3-ringed binder recipe book (including hand-drawn pictures by yours truly) (she was probably somewhere around the age of 10 so I would have been 5 years old...) for my Mom & Dad's wedding anniversary...this is where I found it).
This is a good shortbread dough to use with a cookie press. Personally I am not a huge fan of the cookie press, mainly because I find that once the cookies are baked, they are almost too delicate and crumbly. So a few years ago, I started using a piping bag to shape these cookies. Although it required a lot of arm strength to pipe them out, I ended up being extremely happy with the results. They are much more sturdy and can stand up to being packaged with other cookies. I used a number 1M Wilton tip on a regular piping bag, and piped them into mini rosette shapes.
(makes about 60 cookies)
1 lb(500 g) of butter, at room temperature
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
(1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees
(2) Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper
(3) With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and icing sugar until very fluffy (this is what gives the cookie that light and airy texture...it takes about 5 minutes)
(4) Mix in corn starch and vanilla until combined
(5) Turn electric mixer to low and mix in flour
(6) Turn electric mixer back to medium speed and continue to mix until dough has that light and fluffy texture (about 3-4 minutes)
(7) (time to get the cookies onto your baking sheets) Drop by teaspoonfuls or use a cookie press or pipe cookies onto the parchment lined baking sheets. (I usually do this in a couple of batches as I don't have enough baking sheets or oven space to bake these all at once. If you find your kitchen getting too warm in between batches, pop the shortbread dough into the fridge so it doesn't melt prior to baking)
(8) Once they are shaped, before putting them in the oven, its time to have some festive fun with cookie decorations...I used red and green M&M's and different coloured sugars.
(9) Bake 20-25 minutes, until edges are a golden brown
We made it! All 5 Christmas 2011 National Day of Baking recipes have been posted. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing about them.
I know I am a few days late, but Happy New Year! I wish you all the best things for 2012. And, as always...