As you all know, I am not a good baker. I don’t enjoy all of the measuring and the precision of it. However, I am raising a little baker. She can’t get enough of the measuring and the decorating. And the sugar. It’s really about the sugar. So I really try to bake a bit more often. And after some discussion, we decided to make shortbread cookies because we both love them and because we could decorate them. I had no idea how easy they are to make. Seriously! This is the cookie for non-bakers and bakers alike.
All you need is unsalted butter, sugar, flour and a touch of vanilla extract. That’s it. Then you make the dough, chill it for a bit, roll it out, cut it out and bake. How simple is that?! My daughter helped a lot. I just supervised, really. So if an 8 year old can do it, anyone can.
I did learn a few things as I was making these though. First of all, you have to work quickly with the dough. It becomes soft fast. Then it doesn’t hold it’s shape. And another thing about holding its shape….. the main ingredient is butter so as these cookies cook, the butter melts and they spread out. Make sure you leave enough space between them as you bake. (I probably should have left more space….)
But the buttery, crunchy goodness is fantastic! And then you put a sugary glaze on top and it is so delicious! We always have the best time decorating. My daughter’s favorite decorating tool is the squeeze bottle. It makes it easier to place the frosting or glaze exactly where you want it.
Here is exactly what you will need for this recipe:
2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. sugar
4 C. flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1 C. confectioners sugar
1/4 C. water
food color (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Then mix in the flour a little at a time and add in the vanilla extract.
Form dough into a large ball, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 in. thickness and start cutting out your shapes. Place shaped cookies on a lined or greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on the edges.
For the glaze, mix together the confectioners sugar and water until the glaze is smooth and watery. Wait until the cookies are cool and then decorate. If you are layering colors, wait until the first layer of glaze is dry before doing the other.
I am definitely making these again. They were delicious! And my little loves enjoyed them too. Especially my daughter, who is happy that mommy found a cookie recipe that she doesn’t mind making!