I love holiday baking! And I start to plan what to make way before Christmas--just like I start dreaming of snow in July. (Really, I do! I know, I'm a freak.) So I thought I'd start a weekly series of the things I'm planning to make, along with some of the things I make every year.
This is one that I've had filed away for a few years, but I never got around to trying it. I don't know what I've been waiting for! These are so easy. Even easier if you use a food processor. They're a basic shortbread, so if you're looking for a sweet cookie, these aren't going to do it for you. But if you love shortbread or know someone that does, give these a try! You make the dough right in the food processor, knead it a few times to get it all together, pat it out on your baking sheet and cut them into little squares. So easy! The only problem is that they're teeny, and so easy to pop in your mouth...so watch out, hehe. You could also change the colors of the sprinkles for different occasions.
I also had some chocolate calling to me from my (not so) secret stash of goodies, so I figured I'd melt some and dip a few of the cookies--give them a bit of chilling time in the fridge. Mmmmm, those were good, too! But if you decide to do that and give them away, they need to be chilled or in a cool place. Next time, I think I'd add some mint extract to the chocolate.
Elfin Shortbread Bites
from Simply Homemade Food Gifts
1 1/4 cups flour
3 TB sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 TB red and green sprinkles
If using a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar until blended.
Add in the butter until it all resembles fine crumbs.
Add the sprinkles and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. (Don't overdo it, or the dough will turn pink from the red sprinkles. Trust me on this one.)
Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough forms a ball.
Pat the dough out into an 8x5 inch rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares, and separate them on the baking sheet. (A bench scraper works really well for cutting them.)
If you're not using a food processor, mix the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until you get fine crumbs, stir in the sprinkles and knead until smooth. Continue with cutting and baking the cookies...
Bake at 325 for 12-14 minutes, and then transfer the cookies on the parchment to a cooling rack.
Store in a tightly covered container at room temp for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
This is supposed to make about 160 little cookies. Huh? In what universe, I'd like to know. Maybe I made mine gigantic at about one inch each, but I got about 90, both times.
As with any shortbread, these get better every day. If they manage to last three days, they'll be even better!
Edit on Tuesday to add: I just chowed down about 10 of these (I told you, they're dangerous.) and they have improved, like shortbread always does. The flavor of the butter is more pronounced as is the small amount of sugar in these. I love shortbread!
Next week's holiday recipe? Well, I'm not sure yet, but it'll be good. :)