but this recipe, another of my grandmas, is so simple, but truly unlike anything you have tasted before. the secret is two things. first- the butter to dry ingredient ratio. given that literally 1/3 of these cookies is butter, they melt on your tongue with the most magical of textures. the second is air (or the whipping). you probably do not want to attempt to tackle these cookies without the aid of some sort of an electric mixer. 10 minutes in the mix master or electric hand mixer is the key to getting these light-as-air cookies the holiday chatter they deserve.
:: ingredients ::
1 lb butter, softened
2 cup icing sugar
3 cups flour
a handful of cut up glace cherries (or other garnish) for topping (see note below)
:: directions ::
preheat oven to 300 degrees
mix butter and icing sugar together until well blended, around 3 minutes
add flour and continue mixing on medium speed for 10 minutes
scoop batter onto parchment lined baking sheets
top with 1/4 sliced glace cherries (or other desired garnish) and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until edges of cookie are just started to turn golden
a note about garnishes: obviously the cherries in their totally natural green or red is a classic topping for shortbread. i will admit that i do love the sweetness the cherries provide in contrast to the buttery flavor of the cookies themselves. i do however like to mix up what i use for garnish- candied pecans, crushed candy canes, or silver decorative balls (like i have used here because i had them in my baking cupboard)- anything you can think up will likely pair well with these cookies.
these cookies freeze (and thaw) exceptionally well. just take out of the freezer an hour before gusts arrive, and the cookies will taste like the day you baked them.