Shortbread can be dressed up or down simply by adding spices, dried cherries, or pecans. All of these variations will easily sweeten up a Christmas cookie exchange.
- Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium bowl stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Using your hands, shape the mixture into a ball and knead until smooth.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 1/2 inch thick. Using a 1-1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into circles, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place circles 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until bottoms just start to brown. Transfer to write rack and let cool. Makes 16 cookies.
From the Test Kitchen
*To make shortbread strips, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 6x4-inch rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Using a utility knife, cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 16 pieces. Bake as directed.
Prepare as above, except substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar and stir 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves into the flour mixture.
Prepare as above, except add 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel with the butter and stir in 1/3 cup snipped dried cherries after cutting in the butter.
Prepare as above, except substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar. After cutting in butter, stir in 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans. Sprinkle mixture with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla before kneading.
Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortbread:
Prepare as above, except stir 1 tablespoon poppy seeds into flour mixture and add 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel with the butter.
Prepare as above, except after cutting in butter, stir in 1/3 cup snipped dried cranberries.
Nutrition Facts (Shortbread)
- Per serving:
- 98 kcal cal.,
- 6 g fat
- (4 g sat. fat,
- 0 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 2 g monounsatured fat),
- 16 mg chol.,
- 62 mg sodium,
- 10 g carb.,
- 0 g fiber,
- 2 g sugar,
- 1 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet