This is a recipe for an amazingly dense and rich yet delicate cookie. You can't eat just one. When I make them, they're gone in a sitting and guests, family members and friends love and look forward to these. I can easily eat 10 in a row. The delicate nature is due to the cornstarch which most recipes I've come across do not include. They taste great with coffee and hot cocoa. This recipe comes from the back of an old box of Benson's Cornstarch. I kept the empty box for years in the hopes of making them one day. I always double the recipe to make about 50 small cookies.
- Sift together corn starch, icing sugar and flour.
- With wooden spoon (or by hand as I do it), blend in butter until soft, smooth dough forms.
- Shape into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls.
- Place 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, flatten with lightly floured fork.
- Alternatively, roll dough to 1/4 inch (6 mm); cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
- Decorate with candied cherries, colored sprinkles or nuts if desired.
- Bake in 300 Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Do not substitute anything for the butter otherwise it's not a genuine shortbread cookie. ETA: Sadielady reminded that I forgot to mention the type of butter. Please forgive the D'oh moment. Please use unsalted butter. I never ever add salt. Any added salt in baked goods is not pleasing to my palate and too much salt is unhealthy but you may want to add a bit.
- You can "nuke" aka microwave the butter to soften it rather than letting it sit out. It saves time and won't alter the taste. Just make sure you don't melt it.
- If dough is too soft to handle then cover and chill for 30-60 minutes (15 minutes worked for me).
- To make Crescents:.
- Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) ground almonds or hazelnuts to flour mixture.
- Shape into logs about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick and 3 inches (7 cm) long.
- Twist into crescent shapes.
- When baked and cool, dip ends in melted chocolate.