The holiday season is rapidly approaching and, while this can be a frantic time, it’s a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones baking holiday cookies. This year we’d like to spend more time enjoying the company of our family and friends and less time in the kitchen preparing for these festivities.
With that in mind we are passing on this delicious shortbread recipe. You can make it ahead of time and store in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick delicious treat anytime your guests arrive. This recipe is also perfect for cookie swaps or gifts. The best part….you can make one batch of these cookies and by adding variations to the dough you’ll have a lovely assortment of cookies.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Beat the butter in an electric mixer and add the sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix until smooth then slowly add in the flour until a dough forms. Divide the dough into separate bowls and add any variety of ingredients (see the list below for some ideas). Place each dough ball onto waxed paper and roll into a log roughly 1 1/2″ in diameter. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Note: If storing for more than a week before baking, place these wrapped logs into a plastic freezer bag and freeze.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from the refrigerator and let rest for 5 minutes. If the dough is frozen, allow enough time for the dough to thaw. Unwrap the dough and slice into 1/4″ rounds. Place on parchment paper and bake 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
I had fun making these cookies with a variety of teas, herbs and extracts. Here are a few suggestions:
There’s no limit to the variations you can try with all your holiday baking this year. And with these easy refrigerator cookies the holidays can now be a delicious, stress-free time of the year!