Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful tin full of the most beautiful, most best homemade shortbread?
(I’ve only had one glass of eggnog. Why do you ask?)
Every year I host a Christmas cookie exchange and each year my friend Janis brings her delicious brown sugar shortbread.
Needless to say, these are the first dozen cookies I polish off.
(Even though the point of a cookie exchange is to share the cookies you receive with holiday guests. Burp. Oh, well.)
This shortbread is perfection.
I mean, just look at that delicate layerage. Mmm…layerage. Crumbly, crumbly, beautiful layerage. *hiccup*
At this point, if Janis tries to bring any other cookie to my cookie exchanges, I will be obligated to send her home.
Just kidding! (maybe)
For an extra-special touch, you can dip half a shortbread cookie in melted chocolate and cool until chocolate sets. OR, you can enjoy it a la Janis by nibbling dark chocolate along with the shortbread.
OR, you can enjoy it a la Mrs. Smith and eat it plain. All of it plain. All of it plain in one sitting. Merry Christmas.
As much as I’d love to give my friend all the credit, Janis actually found this recipe circa 1990 in a Taste of Home magazine. On the up-side, however, I’m saving you alllll of the frantic recipe searching by sharing it here. Isn’t that so nice of me? It’s cuz I love all you guys.
I’ll be even nicer by sharing a few shortbread-making tips:
- Make sure your butter is room temperature.
- Measure your flour accurately by spooning into the measuring cup and leveling it off with a kuh-nife.
- Shortbread dough will be very crumbly once all the flour is mixed in.
- Drink more eggnog.
- Lightly knead dough until it comes together in a smooth ball. Don’t over-knead, though, or your shortbread will be tough.
Ok. I think you have everything you need to make the best homemade shortbread ever to grace your oven. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to pick up more eggnog.
What’s your favorite Christmas cookie to share?
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- *For the most accurate recipe, spoon flour into measuring cup and level with a knife.*
- Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in 4 cups of flour. If dough is too soft, add 1/2 cup more. Dough will be very crumbly. Turn onto very lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Do not over-knead or cookies will be tough.
- Roll dough 1/3″ thick. Cut into 1″ squares. Place 1″ apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Prick squares with a fork.
- Bake at 325˚ for 15-20 minutes, until bottoms are golden. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely before serving.