Every year we make Shortbread Cookies for Christmas. We always use my Grandmother's recipe which is about as simple as you can get. It calls for:
1 lb butter (2 cups)1 cup light brown sugar5 cups flourpinch salt
You have to kneed all the ingredients into a ball - which is a lot of work, but totally worth it. If you happen to have teenagers this is where they come in handy. Once the dough holds together into a ball then it is ready to be rolled out. The cookies work best when they are on the slightly thick side - about 1 cm thick (between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch).
Then the fun begins. You stamp out the cookies and put them on cookie trays.
These are some of the many, many cookie cutters we have collected over the years. All the ones with serrated edges come from my Grandmother along with the circle and the odd little gingerbread at the bottom of the photo.
Kate and her friend made all the cookies which meant they were beautifully and carefully decorated. The rest of us just sprinkle a few decorations on and call it a day. Not Kate and her friend - they created masterpieces.
Once the shortbread are decorated they get baked in a moderate oven (350F) till they are light brown on the edges (watch them carefully as you don't want to overcook them).
You can tell it is an old recipe as it just refers to a moderate oven. I remember as a child asking what a moderate oven was and my Father told me that with a wood stove if you can hold your hand in for only one second it is a hot oven, for two seconds it is moderate, and for three seconds it is a cool oven. We used to have a wood stove at the cottage and I would use that as my temperature gauge - it really does work.
I've hidden the prettiest ones away in the freezer to keep until Christmas dinner. Yum!
Linked to Inspiration Friday party at Southern in my Heart
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