Short bread cookies are very easy to make in terms of the number of ingredients used, expertise required to make the dough etc, but when it comes to actually baking the cookies, it is really a time consuming job. You need to first refrigerate the dough for an hour, then flatten the dough, cut the cookies and again refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake them. If the quantity of dough is less, the cookies can be done in one go. But if you are making in bulk, cutting bite sized cookies and baking them in batches.... its not a very pleasant experience. But if you are making the cookies for your near and dear ones to give away as gifts, then there is nothing joyful than making these wonderful, little, soft and crispy shortbread cookies...
I made these shortbread cookies to be given to my parents, sister, uncle, aunty and above all my grandmother when I will be visting them this weekend.
Here is the recipe..
Ingredients to make around 80 bite sized cookies
Unsalted Butter: 227 gms All purpose flour/Maida: 260 gms Icing sugar: 65 gms Vanilla essence: 1 tsp Salt: 1/4 tsp Mixed fruit jam for topping the cookie: 2 tbsp (optional)
1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl and keep aside. 2. Cream the butter until it is smooth. 3. Add sugar to the butter and beat until smooth. Add vanilla essence and beat.(I did step 1 and 2 using electric blender) 4. Add the flour mixture to sugar and butter mixture and mix just until soft dough is formed.(I did this with hand.) First it will stick to the hand. Slowly and softly bring the dough together. 5. Flatten the dough slightly with hands and place in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.(I placed the dough in a plastic cover and refrigerated for the first 55 minutes and freezed it the last five minutes) 6. Keep ready a baking sheet lined with parchement paper.(I use butter paper) 7. Lightly flour the surface where dough will be rolled. Also lightly flour the cookie cutters. 8. Flatten the dough using a rolling pin or hand.(I did with hand. I took only 1/4th of the dough from the refrigerator as I could bake only around 20 cookies at a time due to the size of my oven) 9. Cut the dough using cookie cutter. Place very little quantity of jam on top of each cookie. Place in the baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.(Thickness of the cookie can be decided by ones one judgement) 10. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes in a preheated oven. 11. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the dough.
Enjoy the cookies with your dear ones.
Note: 1. For parts measurement, for 1 part of sugar, add 2 parts of butter and 3 parts flour. 2. If cookie cutter is not available, the dough can be made into small balls, flattened using the palm and baked. 3. Its not necessary to wait till the cookies are completelty baked. It can be removed from the oven when the top part of the cookie is still a bit soft. It will harden with its own heat. 4. Using jam is completely optional.