Monday, May 10, 2010

Slice-and-Bake Shortbread Cookies

Hands-on Time: 15 min.; Total Time: 5 hr. 15 min.

Yield: Makes 4 dozen
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Wax paper
1. Beat 1 cup softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract and almond extract until blended.

2. Stir together 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt.

3. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

4. Shape shortbread dough into 2 (7-inch) logs. Wrap each log in wax paper, and chill 4 hours, or freeze logs in zip-top plastic freezer bags up to 1 month.

5. Preheat oven to 350°.

6. If frozen, let logs stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cut each log into 24 slices. Place shortbread slices 1 inch apart on lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

7. Bake shortbread slices at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of slices are golden.

8. Remove shortbread from baking sheets, and place on wire racks; let cool completely (about 20 minutes). Store in airtight containers.

Easy Variations:

Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies: Stir in 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries and 1 Tbsp. orange zest with extracts in Step 1.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies: Omit almond extract. Stir in 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans with vanilla in Step 1.

Toffee-Espresso Shortbread Cookies: Omit almond extract. Stir in 1/2 cup almond toffee bits and 1 Tbsp. espresso powder with vanilla in Step 1.

Coconut-Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies: Omit almond extract. Stir in 1 cup toasted coconut, 1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts, and 1/4 tsp. coconut extract with vanilla in Step 1.

After mom passed away I saw where she had marked this recipe in the magizine.

Southern Living, DECEMBER 2009
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