Shortbread cookies for the holiday

Whipped Shortbread   -Makes 3 dozen cookies A North American classic with a melt in your mouth texture

1 cup.   butter, unsalted, room temperature ½ cup.   icing sugar (powdered sugar) 1 ½ cup.   flour ½ tsp.  salt

  1. Using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the flour and beat for 10 minutes, stopping the mixer twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Fill a piping bag with a star tip and squeeze out round rosettes, of about 2 tbsp. in volume, in a teardrop type of shape.
  4. Bake at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

Scottish Pan Shortbread -Makes 3 dozen cookies.

1 lb.  butter, salted, room temperature 1 cup. sugar 3 ½  cup.   flour

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add flour ½ cup at a time.
  3. Mix well and knead thoroughly. Add more flour if needed.
  4. Pat the dough into a round 9 inch fluted edged tart shell with a removable bottom. No need to butter it!
  5. Prick with a fork all the way through, top to bottom, in a design pattern if you can.
  6. Bake in 300°F (very slow) oven for 45-60 minutes. Don't let the shortbread get brown on top or on the bottom, or get over baked, as it will be too difficult to cut.

Lemon Rosemary Cornmeal Shortbread cookies  - Makes up to 30 cookies.

1 ½ cup. all purpose flour ¼ cup. cornstarch ½ tsp. salt ½ cup. yellow cornmeal 1/3 cup. icing sugar 1/3 cup. granulated sugar 1  lemon, zest only 1 cup. butter, unsalted, room temperature 1 tbsp.rosemary, fresh, VERY finely chopped

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar.
  2. Add the icing sugar and the butter and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and add them in 3 stages to the mixture on low speed. Add the rosemary.
  4. Mix until just combined; transfer the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, pressing it out into a large flat disk.
  5. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top and roll the dough to a ¼ inch thick.
  6. Place the wrapped dough onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge, remove from the plastic wrap and transfer onto a lightly floured surface.
  9. Cut into 1.5-inch rounds and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  10. Bake for up to 15 minutes, until slightly golden on the edges.
  11. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Alfajores – Peruvian Shortbread sandwiches - Makes approx 20 sandwich cookies

This is a very simple recipe that has many different variations in Peru. Usually 2 cookies are sandwiched together with a filling of manjar blanco and then dusted with icing sugar. This is Peru’s version of dulce de leche.

Making the Shortbread sandwiches:

2 ½ cup.   all purpose flour, sift before measuring ½ cup.  butter, room temperature ½ cup.  icing sugar 1 tsp.   icing sugar for dusting

Filling the Shortbread sandwiches:

2/3 cup. Dulce de leche

  1. RE-sift the flour and icing sugar on a clean and dry counter top, making a well in the centre.
  2. Place the soft butter into the well and work the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips.
  3. As the dough comes together in a ball. Lightly knead it back and forth on the counter until smooth.
  4. Flatten into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  6. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and roll onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of approx 4mm. Cut into 3 inch rounds.
  7. Bake on a baking tray lined with parchment paper for about 7-12 minutes without browning.
  8. Cool and dust with icing sugar.
  9. Place approx 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche onto the bottom of one cookie and then sandwich it to the bottom of another one.