Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 1- Glittery Shortbread Stars

I've been baking cookies like a mad woman over the past few days and so far this is the only one I've sampled. Oh wait, except for the chocolate chip cookies I made a couple days ago. But that's just a technicality.
This is one of about 6 different cookies that I'm making this year. I figured I'd rather have fewer cookies of one kind, than to have a whole bunch of one flavor. I wanted to try something new, so rather than looking for a new recipe I reached into my "to bake" file and found this recipe. They're so simple and pretty. They can of course be made into different shapes using different cookie cutters, but the shortbread cookie is such a classic.
These cookies are rich and buttery and the house smells of butter, vanilla and sugar. So good. It was hard to eat just one. The only way I can think of to improve or dress up these cookies is to skip the sprinkling of sugar and dip one edge of them into melted chocolate. And the good thing about these cookies, is that they require such few ingredients. If you don't have a cookie cutter, cut them into little bars or rounds using a juice glass. And let the kids help too, they'd love to contribute.
Glittery Shortbread Stars by Ina Garten
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt; then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3-inch star-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased sheet pan and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

**Made 28 3-inch cookies**

NOTE: The edges of the shortbread are ever so slightly sharper if you chill the cookies before baking them. If the dough is at room temperature the cookies will spread slightly and they'll lose their shape. You can also cut out the cookies days ahead and bake them the day you serve them, just keep them flat on a cookie sheet and make sure they're well covered.

I used Sugar In The Raw for sprinkling on the cookies because it doesn't melt as fast as granulated sugar and because I wanted coarse glittery sugar crystals on the cookies. Granulated sugar works just as well.


Peabody said...

They are glittery...I think I might serve these on New Years Eve night...they go with my theme!

Hennifer said...

I'm not a huge fan of shortbread but these sure are pretty, a feast for the eyes!

Anonymous said...

do these cookies hold up the shape or do they puff up.thanks

Monica H said...

I used white granulated sugar in the dough and raw sugar as the sprinkle on top.


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