Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies are the classic Christmas cookie.  Made with real butter, they are so tender and rich they stand alone or go great on a festive tray of mixed Christmas cookies.   But, with only three main ingredients, I think the best thing about these cookies is how easy they are to make.  Because these are Whipped Shortbread Cookies there is no rolling and cutting of the cookies.  You just drop them from a spoon or cookie scoop and they're ready for the oven.  Of course,  they lend themselves to a little decorating quite well.  I like them with a cherry half stuck in the middle but the kids may like a few sprinkles or a gumdrop middle.  

And the taste!  Oh, so good and buttery with just enough sweetness to make you want to have another and then another cookie.  A simple little cookie for sophisicated taste buds.

Traditionally, shortbread cookies are not overly sweet but you can adjust the sugar to make them a little sweeter if you wish.  

Whipped Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1¾ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, if you wish.  Because the cookie dough has so much butter there is no need to grease the cookie sheet.

Cream the butter and icing sugar together.  Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla if using.  Turn the mixer speed to low and add the flour and salt, mixing until just combined.  (Or you can alternately whip the whole mixture for 5 minutes.  This will give you a lighter airer cookie.  You can use a cookie press or pastry bag with a star tip to squeeze the cookies unto the cookie sheets.)

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. You can also use a cookie scoop if you have one.  Leave them plain or decorate with cherry halves, gumdrops, sprinkles, etc.  You can also press them down using the tines of a fork. 

Bake 18-20 minutes in the preheated oven.  The cookies should have golden edges when they are baked.  Let cool on a baking rack and then store in a covered container.  These cookies store well for about weeks in a cool place or can be frozen for several months.

Makes about 2 ½ dozen cookies.

Cream the butter and sugar together and then whip until light and fluffy.  Add the flour on a low speed until the dough is just combined.  Drop the dough by spoonfuls on parchment lined pans.  Decorate as desired or leave plain.

Here are the cookies ready for the oven. My favourite decoration for Whipped Shortbread Cookies is the half cherry plunked right down in the middle.

 Baked to perfection--golden brown around the edges and light golden on top.

 The cookies will spread a little while baking. 

 You'll always be ready for last-minute guests with a pile of Whipped Shortbread Cookies. 

I'm ready for a late-night visitor!


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