There are some Christmas traditions that would leave me pouting and stomping my feet like a two year old if I didn’t get to enjoy. That doesn’t paint a very nice picture of me, does it? Truth is I probably wouldn’t actually throw a temper tantrum, but I would want to.
My mother, sister and I sit in a circle by the side of the decorated tree, Baileys with a little coffee in hand. My nephew now joins us, no Baileys or coffee for him, not for many years yet. We take turns unwrapping one small gift from our stockings, passing it around and admiring it. At some point our coffee cups are replaced by champagne flutes. The whole process takes us hours, mostly because we are chatting and laughing so much.
I’ve never had shortbread as good as my mother’s. Since I was given the recipe a few year’s back I’ve been told, “I’ve never had shortbread as good as yours before.” I don’t mean to brag … but really, it’s that good. It quite literally melts in your mouth. That’s not a figure of speech, it disintegrate into buttery goodness on your tongue.
The trick is to beat it for longer than you ever think any cookie dough needs to be beaten. Pull a little Mohammed Ali action and KO that cookie dough.
- 2 cups butter, very soft
- 1 cup icing sugar
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until very creamy
- Gradually beat in cornstarch and flour
- Beat until mixture is like whipped cream, about 10 minutes
- Drop by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet Add coloured cherries or dried cranberries in centre of each cookie
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven before shortbread starts to brown
- Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack
- I dare you to try eating just one