Sunday, December 11, 2011

Whipped Shortbread Cookies


Christmas is fast approaching and it just wouldn't be Christmas without shortbread cookies.
Whipped shortbread cookies to be precise.
This recipe has been in the family for a billion years.
Don't believe me?
Check out the original handwritten recipe - on half of a ripped envelope - from who-only-knows what year.
I like the "1/2 sifted corn starch" ingredient....
I have to ask every year: 1/2 what? 1/2 Tbsp? 1/2 cup? 1/2 a tub? (It's 1/2 cup, by the way)


Yup, only 4 ingredients to create a very traditional Christmas cookie that is really, really tasty.
And, it has to be butter - not margarine.
BUTTER.
Margarine will make your cookies taste and look nasty. Trust me.
Our mom says that the more crumbly and melty it is the "shorter" it is. The goal is to have a cookie that melts on your tongue. (P.S. - These do!)
Sue doesn't like them. Surprised? I'm not. She's an anti-cookie freak.
She says that "it's like putting chalk in your mouth" because the cookies are so "short".
I know..I know..... she's weird.  
I don't believe we are twins sometimes....
I don't believe we are even related at all sometimes...

 
Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 lb (2 cups) butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
Maraschino cherries for decorating (or M&M candies)


Directions
Preheat oven to 300. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and icing sugar until creamy.
While beating on low, gradually blend in sifted corn starch.
Gradually add in flour a little at a time.
(FYI - If you add the flour too quickly your mixer will create a little flour cloud that will cover everything in your kitchen. So....add it very slowly.....)
Continue to whip ingredients until well combined.
Now - if you do NOT have a stand mixer and you have to do this with a hand mixer be prepared to be there for a while. We have almost burned out several hand mixers making this recipe. A hand mixer will definitely work BUT a stand mixer is a million times better.
Place spoonfuls of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. If you want to make them a little more festive you can put an 1/8th of a Maraschino cherry in the center of them OR a red or green M&M, OR - what my mom used to do when we were kids - a little piece of a red or green jujube.
Bake at 300 for 35 - 45 minutes.
If you are impatient you can bake your cookies at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes - but they brown very quickly this way and you will need to keep a close eye on them.
They are done when edges and bottoms are just lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

*Note - if you use the M&M candies to decorate your cookie the chocolate does kind of overpower the mild taste of the cookie. I love chocolate so I don't mind.
If you are looking for a more traditional decoration then stick with either the Maraschino cherries or jujubes.

61 comments:

  1. I am not weird I just have some issues!!

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  2. Trying these for the first time and hoping they work out. I am impatient so trying the 350 heat.

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  3. what is icing sugar? Is that confectioners' sugar?

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    1. Yes:) it is confectioner's sugar

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    2. These were the bomb at my cookie exchange party! First time I've ever made them! You don't even need teeth to eat them! They melt in your mouth!

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    3. They really do melt in your mouth! So glad you enjoyed them. :)

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  4. Do you want to know what's bizarre and hilarious!?!
    This is a recipe that my gramma passed down from a friend to my mom, which I asked for a few years ago and still have in her writing, in my recipe box and I had to call my mom and ask '1/2 what of cornstarch? 1/2 cup, 1/2 tablespoon, 1/2 what?' because on her recipe she wrote just '1/2 cornstarch' too!

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  5. Do these freeze well?

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    1. They freeze extremely well. We make them and freeze them every Christmas :)

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  6. Plain Flour or Self rising?

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  7. I want to try this old fashioned recipe! How can I email it to myself & make a copy?
    New to your site! Looks interesting! Plan to make cookies for Christmas gifts this year! Usually make candy!

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    1. I'm sorry Sheri, I can't help you with the emailing it to yourself idea....I'm not sure how to do that. Other than writing it out or copy and pasting it into a word document - I don't know what you to tell you :/ Sorry!

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  8. Sheri, if you copy the address of this page, you can paste it into an email you send to yourself ... I do it all the time:)

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  9. loved these cookies growing up and now I can make them this year for xmas at the in-laws yummy

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  10. But what about flavor? Where is the extract? Vanilla, Almond or spices like cinnamon?

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    1. They don't need extract. I find the simplicity of these cookies is why they work so well and taste so fantastic. You could, of course, add whichever flavours you like BUT it will completely change the cookie.

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  11. salted or unsalted butter

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  12. how many does a batch make? I'm soo excited !!!

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    1. I am sooooo terrible at keeping track of amounts. Geez, I have to start paying more attention. lol. I made this last week and used a small cookie scoop and got almost 6 dozen. Making them "regular" size, you would probably get about 3 dozen.

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    2. awesome.....thanks, ill letcha know how it goes :))

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  13. I sat for a long time just staring at the amount of butter used in this recipe. I finally justified it as I would use the cookies in the assortment of others already made to give away as little gifts to family and friends. The only problem with this plan was trying one when cool. These are soooooo good. (And they did pretty much break the 30 year old hand mixer we have. I was down to whipping with a spoon). Also decorated the M&M version with chocolate drizzled reindeer antlers and eyes.

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    1. We have killed several hand mixers with this recipe :( but....they are totally worth it! I'm glad you enjoyed them. I bet the reindeer cookies were adorable!

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  14. Yummy!! Made them today and they are fantastic!!! Wow, they do melt in my mouth.

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  15. Anyway I can roll it out and do a cookie cutter type?

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  16. I tried another recipe(this recipe by two different cooking sites)....1 cup butter...1 1/2 cups flour..1/2 cup icing sugar...beat for 10 minutes 350 degrees for 17 minutes. Two recipes later and all i have are pancakes! Do you have any idea why that happened?? I will be trying yours next!

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    1. I'm not really sure why that would happen... Did you use margarine instead of butter? I know that makes a HUGE difference. I hope you have better luck with this recipe!

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    2. I did use butter. (One of the recipes was even from the Best of Br....) Neither of the recipes included Cornstarch so here goes my next try :)

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  17. I wish that I had have found this before Christmas, but I just found it on Pinterest today. This recipe is definitely on my bake list in the near future. Thanks for posting. The cookies look yummy.

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  18. I love shortbread. these look delish.

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  19. How many cookies does this recipe yield?

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    1. As per previous reply above -- "I am sooooo terrible at keeping track of amounts. Geez, I have to start paying more attention. lol. I made this last week and used a small cookie scoop and got almost 6 dozen. Making them "regular" size, you would probably get about 3 dozen." Hope that helps!

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  20. How can anyone NOT like cookies?!!?!!
    Anyway...I was going to ask about freezing, but I see it's already been answered.
    So, I'll just say a big THANK YOU!!!

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  21. These are just delicious! I did 4 dozen with red and green cherries on top and the last of the dough I added toffee bits and made 2 dozen. REALLY GOOD.

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  22. Hi,
    Well I don't have a stand mixer, and have always wanted to make shortbread cookies. I see that some have ruined their hand mixer, don't want to do that. So would the Cuisinart with dough blade be a good substitute?

    Jim

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    1. Hi Jim, I have never tried that before but I don't see why that wouldn't work.
      Please let us know if you try it!

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  23. The cookies don't spread out during baking, so you can place them fairly closely on the cookie sheet.

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  24. Thanks
    I will give it a try.

    Jim

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  25. Going to make these for a cookie exchange next weekend!! Thank you!

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  26. First thank you and I love the handwritten recipe, reminds me of my mom. Have you ever piped them? I just have a batch in the oven now so I will let you know how they turn out, I'm excited because I used to make these all the time and we lost the recipe so thank you for posting this :-)

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    1. I hope you like them!! I haven't tried to pipe them. I would love to but my piping skills are sorely lacking lol

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  27. Hi Again,

    Got to get things right soon so that I can take these to a company Christmas party.
    1-Can I or should I use cake flour. Or is it a better recipe with all purpose? I have cake flour as I like to make pound cakes. (Maybe I should do one of each!)
    2- Has anyone seen this mixer used in this video. If so where to buy?
    http://tinyurl.com/nu5m6dh

    Thanks
    Jim

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    1. Hi Jim :) I have never made it with anything except all purpose so I don't know how different it would be with cake flour. Can't help you out with the mixer though... sorry about that. Good luck!

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  28. Thanks For the quick reply.
    I like cake flour. I think I will try half and half, instead of all one kind of flour. Will keep you informed, If it works well with 1/2 & 1/2, I will try all cake flour, then take the tastiest to the Christmas party.

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  29. These were the best shortbread cookies I have ever tasted let alone made...I made 4 dozen took them to work, they were gone in a hour..with request for more tomorrow..

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  30. This is, by far, the best shortbread cookie.
    Ever.
    In the history of things.
    This is our church ladies' luncheons of 40 years ago and gram's recipe she never did write down. I've not had them since.
    Hats off to you, girls.

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  31. "Place spoonfuls of cookie dough about 2 Tbsps apart..." How far apart is 2 Tbsps? This is a new technique to me!

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    1. Oh my gosh. I can't believe no one else caught that until now! lol Thank you - I changed it to inches :)

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  32. Can I half the recipe as I want to make a smaller batch? Just want to make sure it will still turn out okay. :-)

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    1. We have never tried a half batch but I see no reason why halving it shouldn't work! Let us know if you give it a try :)

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  33. Hello,

    This may sound strange but i am wondering where the recipe on the envelope came from. It looks loke my Mom's handwriting and i am wondering if it could be

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    1. Hi Paula, It is my either my mother's or grandmother's handwriting. It was in their shared recipe tin. :)

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  34. I love this idea, they look amazing! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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