mom's shortbread

Monday, December 5, 2011

You know those holiday recipes that evoke such fantastic memories?

This is one of them.

My mom, used to be, suzy homemaker. She was Christmas-crazy. She would bake, and decorate, and be a great hostess. Christmas was amazing when we were kids.

She isn't so much like that anymore, she prefers Christmas in Mexico or Palm Springs, but I have a feeling that will all change next year when her granddaughter arrives.

Part of my mom's Christmas baking, besides the butter tarts and the whipped shortbread, was traditional shortbread. I remember her baking a whole whack load of it, containers upon containers of it, mostly in this scalloped rectangle shape, and freezing it early in December.

This trick of freezing cookies is nothing new to all of you ladies (or gents) who do their Christmas baking early. But this brought on my weakness for frozen cookies. Specifically, frozen shortbread cookies.
Shortbread is one of those cookies I enjoy more straight from the freezer than I do at room temperature.

It's cold, still buttery and crisp, after a few chews, it melts away in your mouth. Seriously, it's amazing.

Please bake up some shortbread, freeze it, then eat it.

It's a guilty pleasure everyone should learn from their mothers.


2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Turning the mixer to low, add the flour, 1 cup at a time until completely mixed. Turn mixer speed up to medium, beat for 1 minute.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a few times, gather into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Once dough is cool, but not firm, roll out onto a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Place shapes onto baking sheets, about an inch apart.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. If you're unsure, tap the top of the cookie, should dent in slightly OR you can use a spatula to lift a cookie off the sheet, if it's just starting to golden on the bottom, they are done.

Transfer cookies to a wire baking rack to cool completely. Can be stored for a month in the freezer or a few days at room temperature.