The holidays are that time of the year when we embrace spending time with family and enjoying many traditions. One of the holiday endeavors I embark on every year is baking cookies. I have to admit I’m not much of a baker. Somehow I find baking a bit too precise and if you mess up on just one ingredient the whole recipe can be ruined. I usually prefer recipes that don’t require baking such as my other favorite Faworki Polish dessert. Check out the recipe here. But when I do attempt to bake, I always look for super easy recipes that don’t have too many difficult steps or ingredients. This is why I love this recipe for festive holiday shortbread cookies. Not only they taste amazing but also they’re fairly easy to make. And on top of that they require just a few easy ingredients most of us already have in our pantry.
These festive holiday shortbread cookies are so gorgeous and yummy. Even though I usually advocate healthy eating I do believe in a little indulgence once in a while. And the holidays are the perfect occasion to treat yourself and not worry too much about the sugar or calories. After all we work hard all year long so why not reward ourselves at this festive time and treat our loved ones to some extra TLC. So here’s the recipe for you to try out and enjoy.
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How To Make Festive Holiday Shortbread Cookies
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 cup (2 sticks – 226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
For Chocolate Dipped Shortbreads:
6 ounces (180 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
Using an electric mixer or hand held mixer beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Slowly add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Then beat in the vanilla extract. Once incorporated gently stir in the flour until it’s well incorporated.
Gather up the dough and flatten it into a disk shape. Wrap it in a plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour or until it feels firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick circle. A word of warning the dough can be a bit temperamental and crumble easily. Don’t get discouraged by this. Just keep kneading the dough in your hands until it becomes a soft ball. Then sprinkle some flour on it periodically as well as on the rolling pin. This ensures that the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or the surface. Cut the pieces out using a lightly floured cookie cutter into any desired shapes.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will keep their shape when baking. Bake for 8 – 15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly browned. If unsure of the doneness of the cookies insert a stick to see if it comes out clean. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.
These festive shortbread cookies with keep in an airtight container for about a week or so or they can be frozen. This recipe makes about 20 festive holiday shortbread cookies.
If Using Chocolate Dipping
Melt about 90 grams (3 oz.) of the chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Keep adding more chocolate and stir until it all melts.
Once all the chocolate has melted and looks nice, smooth and glossy remove it from the heat. Take one cookie at a time and dip in the melted chocolate. Place the chocolate covered cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened.
Usually when I make these chocolate dipped cookies I end up with some left over melted chocolate. So instead of getting rid of it or eating it all I came up with a great use for it. What you can make with the left over chocolate is a tasty chocolate bark. Simply spread the melted chocolate on a parchment paper and sprinkle with any ingredients you might like. I typically use slivered almonds, walnuts or pistachio nuts. Then I sprinkle the bark with my favorite spices; paprika for that extra spice, cinnamon and cardamon for that unique flavor. But you can use a variety of other ingredients such as other nuts and your go-to spices. Go ahead and have fun with it.
Then place the bark on a baking sheet and refrigerate until hardened. Afterwards break it up into pieces and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Things You Will Need
Electric or Hand Mixer
Holiday Cookie Cutters
I hope you enjoy these festive holiday shortbread cookies and chocolate bark recipes. Do you like baking? What is your favorite dessert to make for the holidays? Share with me in the comments below. I’d love to know more about your holiday traditions.
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