Cookie Calendar: Shortbread Bites

Half an inch sure makes for one teeny-weeny cookie! If you have little kids around at the holidays, I bet these would make great "tea party" fare.

The square shape is also somewhat unusual for a cookie, and the sprinkles worked into the dough make it so festive. You could use red and green nonpareils for Christmas, true, but I liked the look of the rainbow ones too much to go any other way.

They look kind of reminiscent of that confetti icing they sell at the grocery store. I always longed for that stuff on cakes, but my mom was never a canned frosting kind of person.

Nowadays, I don't like icing much, and I'm often too impatient to wash everything up and make a batch after I've gone to all the trouble of baking. I do sometimes buy frosting in a can for cakes that must be frosted and aren't for me to consume. Hmm, sometime I need to relate my adventures in seven-minute frosting from this summer!

I digress! My big tip for these cookies is to underbake them a bit. I followed the directions here, and 18 to 20 minutes is waaaaay too long for butter cookies the size of nickels. When the bottoms are so very golden brown, the cookies turn all dry and crumbly rather than luscious and buttery. Start checking these puppies, I don't know, nine minutes in, and pull them once they look set.

Cookie Tip #21: Don't trust a recipe. Trust your senses! If they look set, they are done, even if it hasn't been 30 minutes. If they look dull, add sprinkles or candy bits. If they taste boring, add more vanilla or other flavoring next time. Just watch out when you start changing things such as the kind or amount of cocoa or acid used, as ingredients such as those might be balancing out another acid/alkaline ingredient that makes the cookie rise or come together.

Shortbread Bites
Source: Good Housekeeping

  • 1 ¼ cup(s) all-purpose flour

  • 3 tablespoon(s) sugar

  • ½ cup(s) (1 stick) butter (no substitutions), cold, cut into pieces

  • 1 tablespoon(s) red and green nonpareils or sprinkles or 1/2 cup mini baking bits

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour and sugar until combined. Add butter and pulse until dough begins to come together. Place dough in medium bowl. With hand, gently knead in nonpareils or baking bits until evenly blended and dough forms a ball.
3. On lightly floured waxed paper, pat dough into 8" by 5" rectangle; freeze 15 minutes. Cut dough into 1/2-inch squares. Place squares, 1/2 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.
4. Bake cookies 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 3 months.

Nutritional notes:
Calories 40
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol --
Sodium --
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber --
Sugars --
Protein --
Calcium --

Download Shortbread Bites into MacGourmet.

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