What is Shortbread?

Quite popular around Christmas time and the Scottish New Year, shortbread emerges in many different forms, including festive iced cookies and drier accompaniments to your cup of coffee. Shortbread is a rich pastry usually made with four simple ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar and flour. After baking, the biscuit becomes tender-crisp treat with a crumbly texture. To avoid browning, shortbread is baked at a low temperature. When it comes out of the oven, it is nearly white or a light golden brown color.

Basic Vanilla Shortbread

Ingredients needed to make a basic shortbread include ¾  (1 ½ cups or 3 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (that has a paddle attachment), mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, and then add the ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix the dough on low speed until it starts to come together. Once mixed, dump the dough onto a surface dusted with flour. Use your hands to bring everything together. Divide the dough into four pieces. Flatten slightly. Wrap each piece in plastic and put into the refrigerator to chill.

This recipe will make about 48 small shortbreads.

What to Do with Shortbread Dough…

Some people will roll the shortbread dough and cut out shapes to bake as cookies. Others use the dough to make a range of sweet creations. There are plenty of variations you may consider when making a simple shortbread recipe. You can:

•    Cut into the shape of diamonds and dip an end in chocolate
•    Make thumbprint cookies topped with fruit preserves
•    Tea cookies dusted with confectioners (or powdered) sugar
•    Brushed with a lemon glaze and decorated with sprinkles

Peanut Butter Cookies

I love having a few pantry-staple recipes on hand for an impromptu dessert. Nothing is as easy and delicious than these peanut butter cookies that require only three ingredients. The next time you want to bake something yummy, just go to your pantry and whip up the easiest cookies ever with ingredients you already have to create a dessert that tastes like perfection.

Ingredients

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet.

3. Using the back of a fork, make a crisscross pattern on dough. Bake for 13 minutes.

Little Peeper Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 cup fluffy white frosting (from 16 oz container)
Yellow gel food color
18 semisweet chocolate chips, cut in half
Yellow candy-coated licorice
Orange candy slices

DIRECTIONS

1.Heat oven to 350° F. Cut dough into 1/2-inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

2.Bake 10 to 12 minutes or unitl edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

3.In medium bowl, stir frosting and 2 to 3 drops gel food color until well blended. Frost cookies.

4.Decorate cookies using chocolate chip halves for eyes, yellow candy-coated licorice for feathers and pieces of orange candy slices for beak and feet.

photo and recipe courtesy of Pillsbury.com

Rabbit Cookies Recipe

As soon as I saw this yummy recipe, I knew I had to share it! So, here we go!

DESCRIPTION

No cookie cutters needed for these clever cookies! Just turn a few balls of Pillsbury® Create ‘n Bake™ cookie dough into tasty treats.

INGREDIENTS

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 cup fluffy white frosting
Decorating icing or gel
Assorted small candies or decors

DIRECTIONS

Rabbit cookies
Rabbit Cookies. photo and recipe courtesy of Pillsbury.com

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Cut cookie dough into 16 slices; cut 8 of the slices in half down the center. To make 1 rabbit cookie, place 1 whole slice on ungreased cookie sheet for head; place
2 halves on top, slightly overlapping on whole slice, for ears. Repeat to make 7 more rabbit cookies, placing 2 inches apart.

2.Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

3.Frost cookies with frosting; decorate with icing and candies.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

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Thank you, Pillsbury.com, for allowing us to re-publish this recipe!