I have 2 great shortbread cookie recipes, one is my standard make-ahead recipe that I can mix up in November and bake in December. I’ve used this recipe for years and it’s my favourite because you do all the work ahead of time, and can just take the pre-made cookies out of the freezer and bake up a batch any time you want. (The frozen cookies keep in the deepfreeze up to 2 months.)
The other is my oldest and dearest friend’s recipe for whipped shortbread. For years, I relied on Sharon to provide me with the baked results of this heavenly shortbread because I didn’t have a stand mixer that was hearty enough to mix the dough. The secret to these melt-in-your-mouth cookies is whipping air into the dough with your mixer.
Both of these recipes are sure to be a hit with your family, but expect extra oohs and aahs if you make the whipped shortbread.
1 1/2 cups of room temperature butter
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups of flour
Beat butter until fluffy in a large bowl. Add cornstarch and beat in, then add sugar and beat in.
Slowly stir in flour with a wooden spoon a little at a time until you have a pastry-thickness consistency dough.
Roll out the dough on a floured cutting board to 1/2” or less.
Using a small water glass or cookie cutter, cut out your cookie rounds. Gather up any extra dough and roll out again.
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and place the cookies on the cookie sheep. Prick each cookie with a fork several times. Put in freezer until frozen, then transfer the frozen cookies to a ziplock bag and keep frozen until ready to bake.
To bake, preheat oven to 275.
Arrange frozen cookies on cookie sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until firm.
Cool before storing in airtight containers.
SHARON’S LIGHT-AS-AIR WHIPPED SHORTBREAD
1 lb of room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup of cornstarch
1 cup of icing sugar
3 cups of flour
Using a stand mixer, put butter in bowl and beat until creamy. Add cornstarch and sugar and continue beating. Then add flour a little at a time until mixed thoroughly.
Turn mixer to high and beat dough until VERY creamy - 15-30 minutes. It’s a good idea to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every few minutes so everything gets well beaten.
If you leave the mixer on for several minutes without stopping to scrape, you will see the different creamy texture that the dough in the middle takes on. This is the consistency you are looking for.
Pre-heat oven to 275F.
Drop cookies by spoonful on to cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
(Note, these cookies are so light, that they are also very fragile. Be very careful how you transport them.)