Perfect Cookies: Shortbread

ccHow is Christmas next week?? I don’t understand it. I decorate for Christmas (well, I decorate the tree while my husband does everything else), I make cocoa and fudge and drink eggnog, but Christmas just never hits me until it’s here, but it’s okay, I still soak it all in. Michael and I get each other lots of presents because we’re really just large children, and we always wait until after his birthday (the 19th) to open them. After our celebration, we’ll head down to our parents’ houses in Iowa. They only live 20 minutes apart, so that’s pretty handy, and we usually split our time between the 2 houses. This year, both our families are having Christmas on New Year’s weekend, so we’re mainly going to relax on Christmas weekend, other than some grandparent visits. I get a lot of time off work and Michael’s done with school for the semester, so it should be a nice Christmas vacation! I do a treasure hunt for the kiddos on my side, and we always decorate Christmas cookies.
ckSpeaking of cookies, these are my mom’s favorite kind: shortbread. They consist mainly of 4-5 ingredients, depending on what you want to add in. You can put toffee bits, chopped chocolate, tea, spices, nuts or anything else you desire into the dough itself, or keep them simple, as my mom prefers. I can never resist dipping some of them in chocolate and then sprinkling them with nuts or toffee. It makes them so much prettier, although there is something to be said for simplicity. And they still taste perfect plain.
cHappy Holidays to you and yours! Only one more Friday before Christmas! I think a sugar cookie recipe may be in order…

*Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1 c. butter, softened slightly
1 c. powdered sugar
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. flour

Directions:
In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3 min. Slowly add in flour and mix until dough comes together. Place a piece of plastic wrap on counter and place dough in middle of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap to protect your hands from the dough, gently form it into a log and seal with the plastic wrap. Place in fridge for an hour or until firm (or put it in the fridge for 30 min).
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut log into slices, or roll dough out on flour surface to 1/4 inch thickness and use cookie cutters. Place on silpat or sprayed cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of your cut-outs. Cookies should be barely browned. Cool.

Note: If desired, dip in melted chocolate and sprinkle with toffee bits, as shown. I like to melt chocolate chips and stir in a small amount of whipping cream to make a soft and smooth ganache, although it doesn’t get as firm as plain melted chocolate.

Source: An Anna Original

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