Christmas is a time for bringing out your strongest cookie game. This is not a time to just bake run of the mill cookies. It’s a time to grab small children (or not so small, mine is 20) and get your baking on! So many wonderful Christmas traditions begin in the kitchen, with time spent together. One of my frequently requested recipes (mostly by The Hubby) is my whipped shortbread. Followed closely by my chocolate chip and skor cookies or my ginger molasses cookies. I’m not going to lie, these shortbread cookies are work than regular shortbread but they are (in my opinion) far better than regular shortbread as well.
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So enough talk, let’s get baking. At this point, to save the motor in your mixer and your sanity. If you’re butter is not at room temperature take it out, grab a drink and watch some Netflix for a bit. This is shortbread people so we are dealing with a lot of butter here. Having it at room temperature is the least you can do. Assuming you are thus prepared, let’s continue.
Add it to a large mixing bowl and then grab out your icing sugar. If you’re anything like me you have about 3 bags in various states of fullness hidden away in your cupboards or pantry. One of he things on my to do list is to use my new Cricut Maker (I’m so excited to use it) to make up some handy pantry labels and get my cupboards in proper working order.
After you have added the icing sugar to the bowl, you will need to grab some vanilla extract. Please for the love of all thing baking do NOT use artificial vanilla extract. The real deal is so much better tasting, but if you have nothing else and all the stores are bolted shut then use the artificial stuff if you must. I’m actually very keen to make my own vanilla extract and plan to give it a go as soon as I can drag my ass to Costco to get some vanilla beans.
Vanilla extract is quite easy to make and once achieved is one more thing I can cross of needed from the grocery store. Well, except for the vanilla beans as I don’t think I can grow those at home…or can I? After a quick Google search I have determined that I can grow vanilla beans indoors but it will be a labour intensive and long (like 5 years) endeavour. So for now at least I will continue to get them from he store.
After adding the vanilla grave your trusty electric mixer and start whipping that butter! You want it really soft and light. Once it is ready, set it aside and grab another bowl.
In the second bowl go ahead and add the corn starch, yes that much corn starch…
Then grab your self some baking powder, NOT baking soda. While the two have some things in common, mostly that they are both leavening agents (they make things rise). They are not the same thing and using the incorrect one can cause a baking disaster.
Next you need to add in the flour and a touch of salt. If you used salted butter, then you can exclude the salt altogether if you prefer. Give it all a quick mix to make sure it is all combined and then we can move on to the next step.
Then it’s time to slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. I like to do this about a 1/3 cup at a time. Mixing it in-between to ensure that the flour mixture is fully incorporated and the batter whipped up again before adding any more flour.
This is a slow and tedious process and you may be tempted to dump all the flour mixture in and be done with it. But please just do your mixer a break and take it slow. It will also give your cookies their best chance at being properly whipped.
When you get the last of the flour mixture it in should look something like this. Not as fluffy as the butter was at beginning but also much lighter than your regular shortbread. If you haven’t already preheated the oven to 350F now is as good as time as any to do it. Oh and don’t forget to take all the pots and pans out of the oven. If you don’t use it as second storage as I do then kudos to you for being more organized or having a bigger kitchen.
Scoop it out onto a parchment lined cookie tray. The size is up to you, just keep in ind that these cookies will pretty much keep their size and shape. So let that be your guide. When the oven is up to temperature, you can pop them in for about 15 minutes on the middle rack. When they are done the tops should be a light golden colour.
Once they are done, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then move them to a wire cooling rack.
That’s it, you’re done. Grab a tall class of milk and let these bad boys melt in your mouth.
Whipped Shortbread Cookies
- Cookie sheet
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Electric mixer
- 1 Cup Butter (Room temperature)
- ½ Cup Icing sugar
- 2 Tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ Cups All-purpose flour
- ½ Cup Corn starch
- ¾ Tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ Tsp salt
- Remove random pots and pans from the oven and preheat to 350F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until creamy.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt.
- Slowly beat in ⅓ cup of the flour mixture into butter mixture until it is all incorporated.
- Repeat until all the flour mixture has been included into the butter mixture.
- Spoon out batter and place on the prepared cookie sheets. Thesecookeis will not rally change in size, so make the scoops of dough to the size you want your final cookies to be.
- Bake on the middle rack in the oven for 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
What is your favourite type of cookie to make during the holiday season?