Classic Christmas Shortbread

20111222-191321.jpg Even if we only have time to bake one Christmas cookie, this is the one. it’s practically foolproof, the recipe can be doubled, kids can help, and it lends itself to a variety of shapes.

1/2 c / 125ml cornstarch
1/2 c / 125ml icing sugar
1 c / 250ml flour
3/4 c / 175ml butter

Sift the dry ingredients together. Blend in the butter with a wooden spoon if you must, but clean hands are more fun! You can also use a food processor. As soon as it forms a dough that stays together, it’s done. If it’s too pliable, chill for half an hour.

Roll out with a floured rolling pin to 1/4″ or 1/2cm, and cut with cookie cutters, or roll into balls and flatten with something textured, like a butter press or the bottom of a fancy glass, dipped in flour. You can also shape it in a log, roll in colored sugar or nuts, chill for half an hour, and slice. Decorate with sugar, cherries (or not).

Bake on an ungreased pan (parchment is good for cleanup but not necessary) at 300F for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove to racks immediately to cool. Break at least one so as to force a taste test. Smile.

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