These cookies remind me of my mom.
My mom is a self-professed “non-baker.” She claims to despise baking, and insists that nothing ever “turns out.” I would obviously beg to differ, as she has prepared many of my favourite baked goods over the years. These cookies are absolutely essential for me at Christmas time.
My mom and I don’t live in the same city anymore, so I have resorted to making these myself around the holidays to get my fix. They aren’t quite as good as hers, or at least not as I remember them. She tops hers with chopped red and green cordial cherries, while I have opted for festive red and green sprinkles. They would also be good with a little bit of coloured sugar, other dried fruits, or nuts.
The texture of these cookies is incredibly soft and they really do melt in your mouth. Make sure you use real butter because there are only four ingredients involved and you can taste every one of them! Well, maybe not the cornstarch. But please do use real butter, as I believe it’s of the utmost importance in any shortbread.
I use my stand mixer to make the dough; when you first start stirring the mixture together, there will be a minute or two when you will doubt yourself (I always do). The mixture will look loose and crumbly, and you will worry you’ve just wasted your ingredients. Fear not! Buttery soft shortbread cookies are still on your horizon, as the mixture will come together into a pillowy-soft dough momentarily.
The smell, taste, and texture of these dreamy little morsels bring back very fond childhood Christmas memories. In fact, I’m eating one right now while sitting next to my Christmas tree. If I close my eyes I can almost pretend I’m a young, carefree, freeloading child in my parents’ home, waiting to be showered with gifts on Christmas morning. In reality I still have one more day of gruelling labour* before the holiday break. (*slight exaggeration, my job is actually great)
Trust me. Bake these cookies. I hope you enjoy them with your family as I have with mine!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ½ cup confectioner's (icing) sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sprinkles or decorating sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the confectioner's sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Beat on low for one minute, then on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until a light a fluffy dough has formed.
- Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sprinkles or decorating sugar (if using).
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Make sure the edges don't brown too much; the tops will not get brown and you don't want to overcook them. Cool on wire racks.
- Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.