Shortbread Cookies

Is there anything better than shortbread cookies and a cup of hot tea? I think not.

shortbread_cookiesI had a Christmas party to go to last night and wanted to take a treat for one of my fellow book group members.  Each year we have a Christmas Party and exchange books.  Unfortunately, this year one of our members (and friend) has a child in the hospital so we all bought books, DVD’s and audio books to help the family pass the time they spend at the hospital.  I thought that shortbread and hot tea would sound like a sweet relief when you’re used to hospital fare.  And it keeps for a really long time… so that’s what I decided to make.

shortbread_doughballYou need a REALLY big bowl to make this dough in.  And use real butter.  This is not a recipe where you can substitute margarine.    Keep in mind that you’re going to have four sticks of butter and five cups of dry ingredients in the bowl – THINK BIG!

I processed the half the ingredients at a time in my food processor and that worked out just great.  I did knead the dough by hand afterwards.  I actually enjoy kneading dough and this is so easy to work with.

raw_shortbreadPress the dough into an ungreased pan.  The dimples and ridges that your fingers will leave will disappear as it bakes.  Prick the raw dough with a fork several times and then bake.

baked_shortbreadBake the shortbread until it begins to brown.  Be sure to cut it into squares while it’s still warm.

IMG_4321Here’s a terrible picture of the cutest tin I found at Target.  I lined it with waxed paper and filled it with the cookies.  I folded the wax paper down and then placed a few tea bags on top and sealed it up.  Yum!  This would make an awesome teacher’s gift too!

Shortbread

makes about 40 cookies  [print_link]

4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 pound of butter, cold (can use salted or unsalted)

In a food processor, cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  If you don’t have a food processor, let the butter soften slightly and cut it in with a tool you use for making pie crust.  (I do this part in two batches to make the work easier).

Knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until it’s smooth.

Press the dough into a 15X10 jelly roll pan (ungreased).  Prick the dough with a fork.

Bake at 325° for about 25-30 minutes, just until it starts to brown.

Be sure to cut into pieces while warm.  Remove to a cooling racking.

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