I ran upstairs to get my holiday baking going the minute my last client of 2009 walked out my door this afternoon. Yeehaw!!! Finally, a bit of time to catch up on reports (aka relax and do nothing...).
This is my mom's shortbread recipe and is a huge family favourite. In fact, last year, my brother and I turned the entire house upside down while my mom was out, trying to find her holiday stash of these cookies, which she swore she hadn't made. We found them after much devotion and then transferred the majority of them to another container after tasting a few (to be sure they hadn't gone bad, of course...). My mom's face when she got the cookies out was priceless... she should know by this point that hiding cookies in a Baynton-filled household is a futile mission.
I make this every year for my kinesitherapist, who has been steadily working on my tailbone injury for over two years now. Shortbread are her favourite, so I make her a batch every year at the holidays to thank her.
The recipe says to sift together the flour and sugar. I am 100% a non-sifter, but give in for only this recipe, as it really does affect the quality of the cookies. My exhausted wrists and fingers can attest to me just having sifted two batches of these... blah! But it does make them better. Be sure to use only real butter and to let it get to room temperature before starting, otherwise the cookies don't turn out as well. It's also one of the only recipes that I don't substitute whole-wheat flour for. But they're way better with white and... whatever... it's the holidays...
1 1/4 C light brown sugar
4 C sifted all-purpose flour
1 lb. salted butter at room temperature
1. Sift flour and sugar together.
2. Cut in butter and work with fingers until blended.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls. Flatten with a fork on a ungreased cookie sheet. The dough tends to be quite dry, so you need to work each individual cookie in your hand to make them stick well together and so that they won't crumble apart when you flatten them with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees Farenheit for 15-25 minutes.
Makes approximately 75-100 cookies.
P.S. Did I mention that these are absolutely delicious?